Malalai Maiwand

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Malalai Maiwand, a 25-year-old reporter at Enikass Radio and TV in Afghanistan, was shot and killed on her way to work on December 10, 2020, in Jalalabad city in Afghanistan, according to multiple news reports.

Unidentified gunmen opened fire on Maiwand’s car around 7 a.m., according to news reports. Mohammad Tahir, a driver for Enikass Radio and TV, was also shot and killed, according to the reports. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, calling Maiwand a “pro-regime” journalist, according to Reuters.

Maiwand was a news presenter for the privately owned Enikass Radio and TV, focusing on local news and also presenting some social and entertainment programs, Abdul Mujeeb Khalvatgar, director of Nai, a local media support organization, told CPJ via phone. She had worked at Enikass for five years, Shukrullah Pasoon, broadcast manager of Enikass, told CPJ via messaging app.

Maiwand was also a women’s rights and civil society activist, according to the news reports. Earlier this year, Maiwand told Tolo News that she was receiving threats, the outlet reported. Maiwand was receiving threats from both the Taliban and the Islamic State to stop her reporting, according to Khalvatgar. She had previously spoken about the challenges of being a female journalist in Afghanistan, according to the BBC

Attaullah Khogyani, the provincial governor’s spokesperson, did not respond to a request for comment sent via Twitter. Two suspects have been arrested in connection to the killings, Parveen Afzali, with the Afghan Journalist Safety Committee, a local press freedom organization, told CPJ via email.