Top Afghan women’s rights activist, 29, is shot dead by motorbike-riding gunmen days after she condemned wave of assassinations in the country
- Freshta Kohistani is the second activist to be killed in Kabul in two days
- Her brother was also killed in the drive-by attack which took place near her home
- Freshta was outspoken about women’s rights and asked for protection this week
- On Wednesday activist Mohammad Yousuf Rasheed was shot in rush-hour traffic
A women’s right activist and her brother have been shot by gunmen on a motorbike days after she condemned the wave of assassinations ravaging Afghanistan.
Freshta Kohistani, 29, was the second activist to be killed in Kabul in two days after a prominent pro-democracy advocate was gunned down on Wednesday.
Their murders follow a similar pattern seen in recent weeks, in which prominent figures including journalists and activists have died in targeted killings in broad daylight, several of them in the capital.
Women’s rights activist Freshta Kohistani, 29, has been shot by gunmen on a motorbike days after she condemned the wave of assassinations ravaging Afghanistan
Earlier this month, ISIS claimed responsibility for killing news anchor and activist Malalai Maiwand while she was travelling to work, because she was ‘loyal to the apostate Afghan regime’.
On the latest killing, interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said: ‘Unknown gunmen on motorbike assassinated Freshta Kohistani in Kohistan district of Kapisa province.’
Kapisa provincial governor Abdul Latif Murad said the shooting had taken place near Kohistani’s home and that her brother was also killed in the attack.
Afghan people attend the funeral of Mohammad Yousuf Rasheed, executive director of the non-governmental Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan, after he was shot and killed
Malalai Maiwand, in her 20s, was killed along with her driver Mohammad Tahir in the eastern city of Jalalabad as they travelled to work earlier this month
Kohistani had enjoyed a relatively large following on social media, and regularly organized civil society events in Kabul calling for women’s rights. She was married and had one child.
Days before her death, she wrote on Facebook that she had asked for protection from the authorities after receiving threats.
She had also condemned the ongoing wave of assassinations of journalists and other prominent figures.
‘Afghanistan is not a place to live in. There is no hope for peace. Tell the tailor to take your measurement, tomorrow it could be your turn,’ she tweeted in November.
People attend the funeral of journalist Rahmatullah Nikzad, the fourth journalist killed in Afghanistan in two months
The prominent journalist was shot this week while on his way to a mosque in the eastern city of Ghazni
Journalists, politicians and rights activists have increasingly been targeted as violence surges in Afghanistan, despite peace talks between the government and the Taliban.
On Wednesday, Mohammad Yousuf Rasheed, who led an independent election monitoring organisation, was ambushed and shot in morning rush-hour traffic in Kabul along with his driver.
His murder came a day after five people – including two doctors working for a prison on the outskirts of Kabul – were killed by a car bomb.
A prominent Afghan journalist was also shot this week while on his way to a mosque in the eastern city of Ghazni.
Rahmatullah Nekzad was the fourth journalist to be killed in Afghanistan in the last two months, and the seventh media worker this year, according to the Kabul-based Afghan Journalists Safety Committee.