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“Terrorist attack”; Women’s rights activist and brother were shot dead

Kabul; Women’s rights activist Freshta Kohistani and her brother were shot dead by anonymous gunmen on a motorbike in Dahno village of Kohistan district of Kapisa region.” Unidentified gunmen on a motorbike assassinated Freshta Kohistani in Kohistan district of Kapisa region,” interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian as saying.

29 year old, Freshta Kohistani, was the second activist to be murdered in two days after a major pro-democracy advocate was gunned down in Kabul. Their killings pursue a similar pattern seen in recent weeks, in which famous Afghans have died in targeted murders in broad daylight, mostly all of them in the capital. Kapisa regional governor Abdul Latif Murad told that the murder had taken place near Kohistani’s home and that her brother was also killed. No group has proclaimed the attack so far.

Kohistani, who had campaigned for veteran leader Abdullah Abdullah during last year’s presidential election, had relished a rather significant following on social media and regularly scheduled civil society events in Kabul yelling for women’s rights. Abdullah said Kohistani was killed in a “terrorist attack”.

In a Facebook post, he narrated that Kohistani was a “brave and fearless” activist who was at the vanguard of civil and social life in Afghanistan.” The continuance of such murders is unacceptable,” said Abdullah, who directs the country’s comprehensive peace strategy. Days before her death, Kohistani, who is endured by her husband and one child, wrote on Facebook that she had asked for security from the authorities after acquiring threats. She had also criticized the continuous swell of assassinations of journalists and other notable figures.

“Afghanistan is not a place to live in. There is no hope for peace. Tell the tailor to take your measurement [for a funeral shroud], tomorrow it could be your turn,” she tweeted in November. The tide of assassinations has stirred fear across the country, especially in Kabul. Journalists, politicians, and rights activists have increasingly been aimed as brutality waves in Afghanistan, despite peace discussions between the government and the Taliban.

Mohammad Yousuf Rasheed, who led an independent election monitoring association, was ambushed and shot in morning busy traffic in Kabul along with his driver. His killing came a day after five people including two doctors working for a prison in the outer area of Kabul were murdered by a car bomb. A famous Afghan journalist was also shot this week while on his route 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 employee this year.

Recently, Baloch activist Karima Baloch who fled Pakistan in 2016 to take shelter in Canada was found dead at Harbourfront. According to sources, the police discovered her body drowned off an island just near Toronto’s lakeshore. Senior journalist Tarek Fatah said, “Toronto Police and Canadian security agency CSIS must investigate the possibility of Pakistan’s hand in Karima’s death. Prime Minister Trudeau must act to free Canada of Pakistan ISI agents.”

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