1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites
TerrorismMiddle East

Afghanistan: Gunmen kill Afghan journalist

January 1, 2021

Unidentified gunmen have shot and killed Bismillah Adil Aimaq, an Afghan journalist and human rights activist. Afghanistan is ranked among the deadliest countries in the world for journalists.

Map showing Feroz Koh
Feroz Koh is located in central Afghanistan

Gunmen in western Afghanistan opened fire on the car of journalist Bismillah Adil Aimaq on Friday, killing him but leaving others traveling in the vehicle unharmed, the spokesman for the governor of Ghor province said. No one has so far claimed responsibility for the killing.

It is the latest in a series of killings of journalists in the past two months, with Afghanistan ranked as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for media workers by press freedom group Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Aimaq, who was also a human rights activist in the province, was returning to the provincial capital, Feroz Koh, after visiting his family in a nearby village when he met his death. Among those who escaped injury was his brother.

Death threats

Just last week, Aimaq, who was the editor-in-chief at a private radio station, had written about death threats that he had received on Facebook.

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission said earlier this week that such killings were having a negative impact on reporting in the country, with female journalists feeling particularly threatened.

Since early November, several journalists have died in targeted attacks and bombings, including former TOLO news presenter Yama Siawash, Radio Azadi reporter Elyas Daee, Enikass TV anchor Malalai Maiwand, Ariana News presenter Fardin Amini and Rahmatullah Nikzad, a contributor to The Associated Press.

Growing violence

Violence and killings have increased across Afghanistan despite ongoing peace negotiations between Taliban rebels and the Kabul government.

The talks in Qatar have currently been suspended until early January.

RSF has ranked Mexico, Iraq, Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan as the deadliest countries for media workers.

tj/rc (dpa, AP)