Over the past several days a video has gone viral on social media showing musicians in Kunar being forced to walk with their instruments--tablas, or drums--hanging around their necks from straps while their hands are behind their backs. The two local musicians were paraded by several armed men who were presumably Islamic Emirate forces.
A number of social media users have reacted to the video and said it is insulting to musicians and singers. They urged the Islamic Emirate to investigate such cases.
“We are very disappointed. We are weak now and get weakened by seeing such videos. Now we don’t know what to do. What should we do when we are being insulted? Where should we go, aren’t we from this country?” Nasir Sakhi, a local singer asked.
Parsa Askari Fardin, head of the Afghanistan Music Artists Network, said the musicians and singers face numerous challenges in the country. “In some cases, our colleagues have been beaten and were treated improperly. In some cases, they have been treated in a way that war prisoners are not. Afghanistan Music Artists Network condemn such moves,” he said.
Meanwhile, a number of lawyers said no one has the right to punish anyone except a court. According to the lawyers, hanging musical instruments on someone’s neck is against the laws of the country.
“Such punishment is not allowed, except by a court order. Without a court order, even entering into a compound and doing such things is in itself a crime,” Abdul Shokur Dadras, a law analyst said.
Some residents of the country also said the behavior of the Islamic Emirate against musicians and singers in Kunar goes against the general amnesty. “Everyone has a personality and dignity. They feel ashamed before people (when they are treated in such a way). We hope the Taliban will change its course of action and behave well with musicians,” Sahil Nayab, a Kabul resident said.
“A person works hard in his life and learns and achieves something. The Islamic Emirate should respect them,” another Kabul resident Abdul Wadood said.
Following the fall of the former government last year, this is not the first time that such videos have gained attention. Previously videos went viral on social media showing musical instruments being burned and destroyed in some parts of the country.