Women's Rights Activist Shot Dead in Northern Afghanistan


A 29-year-old activist and economics lecturer, Frozan Safi, has been shot and killed in northern Afghanistan, in what appears to be the first known death of a women's rights defender since the Taliban swept to power almost three months ago. 

The death underscores the pervasive sense of fear in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, where a spate of reprisal killings of people linked to the previous government has fostered an atmosphere of impunity and confusion. 

Activists say they are being hunted down by the Taliban, who have perfected ways to infiltrate and intimidate women's groups. Towards the end of last month, Frozan received a call from an anonymous number, telling her to gather proof of her work as a rights defender and leave for a safe house. Frozan believed her request for asylum in Germany was under way so she left home, wary of pointing her finger at the Taliban. Her father said Frozan's body had been found in a pit not far from the city, and was registered by hospital workers as unknown. 

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The Guardian