Afghan men carry the coffin of journalist Malalai Maiwand, who was shot and killed by unknown gunmen in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, on December 10, 2020. (Reuters/Parwiz)

Journalist Malalai Maiwand shot dead in Afghanistan

New York, December 10, 2020—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the killing of journalist Malalai Maiwand in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province this morning.

Maiwand, a reporter at Enikass Radio and TV in Nangarhar, was on her way to work in Jalalabad, the provincial capital, around 7 a.m. when unidentified gunmen opened fire on her vehicle, killing her, according to news reports. Her driver, Mohammad Tahir, was also shot and killed, according to those reports.

Her killing came as representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban militant group recently agreed to a framework to move forward with peace talks in Qatar, according to news reports.

“The brazen killing of reporter Malalai Maiwand is yet another blow to the media community and to Afghanistan,” said Aliya Iftikhar, CPJ’s senior Asia researcher. “As the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban continue their negotiations, both sides must commit to ensuring that journalists can work safely and without fear.”

Maiwand was also a women’s rights and civil society activist, according to the reports. Earlier this year, Maiwand told Tolo News that she was receiving threats, the outlet reported. She had previously spoken about the challenges of being a female journalist in Afghanistan, according to the BBC. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, according to the reports. Attaullah Khogyani, the provincial governor’s spokesperson, said the attackers had fled the scene, the BBC reported.

Khogyani did not immediately respond to CPJ’s request for comment sent via Twitter.

Last month, journalist Elyas Dayee was killed in a car bomb in Helmand province, according to CPJ research; he was the third journalist murdered in retaliation for his work in Afghanistan in 2020.