Afghan Activist Freshta Kohistani shot dead along with her brother


Leading Afghan women’s rights activist Freshta Kohistani was shot dead along with her brother by unidentified gunmen on a bike in the Kohistan district of Kapisa province on Thursday, officials said.

“Unknown gunmen on motorbike assassinated Freshta Kohistani in Kohistan district of Kapisa province,” interior ministry spokesperson Tariq Arian told the reporters.

Abdul Latif Murad, governor of the Kapisa province, told media that the shooting took place near the activist’s home and that her brother was also killed in the attack. Kohistani, 29, is the second activist to be killed within the span of two days. Muhammad Yousuf Rasheed, a prominent pro-democracy advocate was shot dead on in Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for multiple attacks in Kabul, including an attack that killed 50 people, most of them students.

The aforesaid two killings have followed a similar pattern that has emerged in the past few weeks in which prominent Afghans have been assassinated in broad daylight, most of them in Kabul.

Freshta Kohistani was an activist of international stature and had accumulated a considerable following on social media and actively organized and participated in social events calling for women’s rights in Kabul.

Days before her death, she wrote on Facebook that she had received life threats and asked for protection. “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.

She also condemned the ongoing series of assassinations of journalists and other prominent figures.

Despite the ostensible peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, journalists, prominent politicians and activists have been killed in the past few months.

On Wednesday, Muhammad Yousuf Rasheed, who led a non-governmental election monitoring organization, was ambushed and shot dead along with his driver in the capital.

A day before him, on Tuesday, five people – including two doctors working for a prison – were killed in a car bomb blast.

A leading Afghan journalist was also gunned down while on his way to a mosque in the eastern city of Ghazni.

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