Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the targeted assassination of journalist Malalai Maiwand and calls on the Afghan authorities to come out of their inaction to protect journalists in the country.
Journalist Malalai Maiwand , 30, and her driver, Taher Khan , were killed on Thursday, December 10 by two gunmen in Jalalabad, in the east of the country. The young woman died instantly. His driver succumbed to his injuries in hospital. The attack took place while the journalist was on his way to the offices of the private television channel Enekaas TV , for which she had worked for eight years.
Malalai Maiwand was also the representative of the Afghan Center for the Protection of Women Journalists (CPAWJ) in Jalalabad. Its director, Farideh Neekzad, describes her ” as a courageous and active woman, one of the first CPAWJ activists, who was not afraid to inform and report the truth in a region which is constantly under pressure from enemies. women’s rights and freedom of expression . The CPAWJ is an Afghan organization created by and for women journalists. Its vocation is to support and protect these journalists, especially those who work in the most remote provinces of Afghanistan and who are, as such, particularly vulnerable.
“ Malalai Maiwand was more than just a journalist. Her involvement with the CPAWJ made her a role model for many Afghan journalists. His assassination, on the very day the world celebrates Human Rights Day, is all the more odious and shocking , says RSF Iran-Afghanistan office official Reza Moïni. This murder also adds to the long list of targeted attacks against Afghan journalists and is a cruel reminder of the urgent need for the Afghan authorities to take immediate action to guarantee and strengthen the safety of media professionals in the country . ”
Contacted by RSF, the director of Enekaas TV , Zalmie Latifi confirmed that its media had received repeated threats in recent months, indicating that they were aimed not individual journalists but the media in general. For his part, the head of the committee for verifying complaints against journalists to the Minister of the Interior, Najibollah Maghsoudi, said that the committee had not registered any threats against Malalai Maiwand in particular. Taliban spokesman Zabiholah Mojahed, for his part, denied his group’s responsibility for the attack.
This is the second assassination targeting a journalist in Afghanistan in less than a month. Mohammad Aliyas Dayee , who worked in the Pashtun section of Radio Azadi (Radio Free Europe, RFE), was killed in a car bomb on November 12 in Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand province.
Afghanistan is ranked 122nd out of 180 countries in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index by RSF.
Copyright ©2016, Reporters Without Borders. Used with the permission of Reporters Without Borders(RSF), CS 90247 75083 Paris Cedex 02 https://rsf.org
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