The dead body of Danish Siddiqui, a Pulitzer Prizewinning photojournalist who was killed in Afghanistan last month, was badly damaged while in the custody of the Taliban, officials said. The disclosure appears amid concern that the strife in Afghanistan has become more brutal as peace talks have stalled.
Siddiqui, 38, was killed when Afghan commandos he had accompanied to Spin Boldak were attacked. Initial photographs from the scene showed his body with many wounds but fully intact. But when the body was transferred to a hospital in Kandahar, it had been badly mutilated, according to two Indian and two Afghan officials there. The photographs showed Siddiqui’s body had been damaged. An official said the body had nearly a dozen bullet wounds and that there were tire marks on Siddiqui’s face and chest.
A health official in Kandahar said Siddiqui’s face was unrecognizable, adding that he could not resolve exactly what had been done to the body. However, a Taliban spokesman refused any wrongdoing on the part of the insurgents, saying they were following orders to treat bodies with respect.“Danish always chose to be on the front lines so that abuses and atrocities could not remain hidden,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, the South Asia director for Human Rights Watch.