COORDINATED KILLINGS OF 3 AFGHAN FEMALE SCRIBES SCORED
The coordinated killings of the three women—Mursal Wahidi, Sadia Sadat and Shahnaz Raufi-- are the latest in a bloody campaign against journalists in Afghanistan, a country that was already considered one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist, Tameem Akhgar reported for the Associated Press (AP).
In just the last six months, 15 journalists and media workers have been killed in a series of targeted killings. The killings have spread fear among Afghanistan’s journalist community, prompting some to stop working or flee or self-censor to avoid angering militants or government officials, who have threatened journalists reporting on killings of civilians by government forces.
Afghanistan has over 2,000 officially registered media outlets. Violence against journalists was up 26% in 2020 compared to 2019, according to the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee, which recorded 132 threats and acts of violence against journalists and media workers last year. Attacks against the media have been countrywide.
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for some of the attacks, including Tuesday’s slaying of the three women. But many others have gone unclaimed.
The government blames most on the Taliban, trying to undermine the group’s support among Afghans. The Taliban denies any role and blame the government for the slayings, saying it wants to undermine the peace process.