Journalist Malala Maiwand shot dead; fourth media victim in Afghanistan in 2020

Malala is the fourth journalist to be killed in Afghanistan in 2020

Malala is the fourth journalist to be killed in Afghanistan in 2020

KABUL: Malala Maiwand, 25, has become the fourth journalist to be killed in Afghanistan in 2020 after she was shot dead in eastern Afghanistan.

According to reports, Malala, a reporter for radio and television broadcaster Enikas, was on her way to work in Jalalabad on Thursday when unidentified gunmen opened fire on her vehicle. Her driver, Mohammad Tahir, was also killed.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said that terror group Daesh has claimed responsibility for the shooting, terming Malala a “pro-regime” journalist.

Malala, also a civil society activist, had previously spoken about the challenges of being a female journalist in the country.

Reuters reported that her mother, also an activist, was killed by unknown gunmen five years ago.

According to UNESCO, Malala “was a women’s rights activist who had spoken publicly about the challenges facing female journalists in Afghanistan. She was a member of the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IWART).”

Malala's funeral

Malala’s funeral

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemned the killings, saying that “it is particularly shocking that her life was taken on International Human Rights Day.”

Malala’s killing comes less than a month of the death of 33-year-old correspondent for US-funded Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) Mohammad Ilyas Dayee in the southern province of Helmand after a magnetic bomb attached to his vehicle exploded in Helmand province.

Dayee reportedly said he had received numerous death threats warning him to stop his reporting on military operations in Afghanistan.

On November 7, Yama Siawash, a former presenter on Afghanistan’s Tolo TV who became a Central Bank employee, and two other civilians were killed when a bank car exploded.

On May 30, TV journalist Zamir Amiri was killed when a roadside bomb exploded targeting the bus carrying Khurshid TV station employees.

Six journalists were killed in Afghanistan in 2019, IFJ said.

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