Islamic State claims murder of TV host in Afghanistan

JALALABAD, (KABUL): The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the shooting death of a television host and women’s rights activist in Afghanistan on Thursday, an attack that underscored a growing trend of violence against journalists in the country .
Malalai Maiwand, a presenter for Enikas Radio and TV in the eastern Nangarhar province, was killed along with her driver in the attack on her vehicle in the regional capital, Jalalabad, raising the total number of journalists and media workers killed this year in Afghanistan to 10.
“I was on my way to the office when the incident happened,” said Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor.
Nangarhar has been a hotbed of militant activity, especially involving the Islamic State, which issued its claim of responsibility through its Telegram communications channel, calling it a “pro-regime” journalist.
Maiwand, who was 25, was not the first in her family to be attacked. Five years ago, his mother, also an activist, was killed by unknown gunmen. Enikas has been the target of attacks before, and its owner, engineer Zalmay, was kidnapped for ransom in 2018.
“With the murder of Malalai, the field of work for women journalists is shrinking and female journalists may not dare to continue their work as they did before,” said Nai, a media advocacy group. Afghans, in a statement.
Last month, Elyas Dayee, a journalist for Radio Azadi, was killed in a bomb blast in the southern Helmand province, and Yama Siawash, a former TOLOnews host, was killed in a similar blast in Kabul.
The Afghan government, the German embassy, ​​the European Union delegation and the British ambassador condemned the increasing attacks on journalists and activists.
Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said that in the past decade and a half, the vast majority of journalists killed had been the victims of Islamic Taliban militants.
International donors and governments have expressed apprehension about a possible reversal of progress on women’s rights in the past two decades if the Taliban return to any kind of power with the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country scheduled for next year. .
The ultra-tough rule of the Taliban in 1996-2001 was marked by oppressive laws for women until the group was toppled after a US-led invasion of Afghanistan.