- Title: Kabul police raid shisha cafes in "debauchery" crackdown
- Date: 27th November 2016
- Summary: KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (NOVEMBER 27, 2016) (REUTERS) AFGHAN POLICE RAIDING RESTAURANTS AND CAFES IN THE CAPITAL KABUL CONFISCATING SHISHA WATER PIPES AND PARAPHERNALIA AS PART OF GOVERNMENT SHISHA BAN POLICEMAN TEARING THE SHISHA PHOTO ON SIGN BOARD WITH HIS GUN VARIOUS OF POLICEMEN SEARCHING FOR SHISHA WATER PIPES AND PARAPHERNALIA AT RESTAURANT AS PART OF BAN BY THE GOVERNMENT CROWED OF SECURITY FORCES AND CUSTOMERS AT THE RESTAURANT/GIRLS WALKING OUT (SOUNDBITE) (Dari) OWNER OF A RESTAURANT IN KABUL, ABDUL RAHIM, SAYING: "It would be very good if police carry out such raids on ensuring the security in the country first, as you know the business is down in general in the country, because there is no security and people suffer from joblessness. I wish police become active on everything as they are so active in closing this business.'' SHISHA ITEM ON THE TABLE IN RESTAURANT AFGHAN BOYS HAVING THEIR LUNCH AND SHISHA VARIOUS OF AFGHAN BOYS AND GIRLS AT THE RESTAURANT VARIOUS OF POLICE SEARCHING FOR SHISHA WATER PIPES AND PARAPHERNALIA AT RESTAURANTS A POLICE OFFICER CARRYING SHISHA WATER PIPES AND PARAPHERNALIA AND PUTTING IT IN BACK OF A POLICE PICK-UP TRUCK (SOUNDBITE) (Pashto) KABUL POLICE CHIEF, ABDUL RAHMAN RAHIMI, SAYING: "We have to have control over shisha cafes which promotes debauchery and vulgarity in the society. This is not an easy campaign. We will regularly control this and will act with perpetrators based on the law." VARIOUS OF SHISHA WATER PIPES AND PARAPHERNALIA IN BACK OF POLICE PICK-UP CAR
- Embargoed: 12th December 2016 16:22
- Keywords: Shisha Afghanistan Kabul
- Location: KABUL, AFGHANISTAN
- City: KABUL, AFGHANISTAN
- Country: Afghanistan
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice
- Reuters ID: LVA0015A7YR11
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Destroying shop signs and confiscating shisha water pipes, police and health officials in Kabul raided cafes and restaurants on Sunday (November 27).
Their actions are part of a campaign to halt 'debauchery and vulgarity.'
Critics say the campaign will only distract police from the Afghan capital's deteriorating security situation, while doing little to change the pervasive smoking culture in the long-term.
Business owner, Abdul Rahim, is among those voicing his dismay.
"It would be very good if police carry out such raids on ensuring the security in the country first, as you know the business is down in general in the country, because there is no security and people suffer from joblessness. I wish police become active on everything as they are so active in closing this business,'' said the restaurant owner.
Shisha cafes, where customers inhale fruit-flavoured tobacco using pipes that draw the smoke through water, are popular public gathering spots for Afghan men.
The Afghan authorities, however, say the cafes can be breeding grounds for petty criminals.
"We have to have control over shisha cafes which promotes debauchery and vulgarity in the society. This is not an easy campaign. We will regularly control this and will act with perpetrators based on the law,'' said Kabul police chief Abdul Rahman Rahimi.
Led by the health ministry, authorities plan to go through each Kabul neighbourhood this week to enforce, for the first time, a two-year-old law banning indoor smoking in restaurants.
Teams of police officers on Sunday walked from one cafe to the next, confiscating pipes and ripping down pictures advertising shisha smoking. Many cafe owners and customers were taken by surprise, with a few racing out covering their faces.
Some angry customers say police should be focusing more on protecting the community from suicide bombers and kidnappings rather than 'wasting' their time on 'small businesses'.
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