Crime Justice

Mina Mangal, former journalist turned parliament adviser, killed in Kabul

Salaam Times and AFP


Mina Mangal, an Afghan journalist, was found fatally shot May 11 in Kabul, only a few days after she had announced that her life was in danger. [Mina Mangal/Facebook]

KABUL -- A former journalist who worked for parliament was shot and killed in Kabul on Saturday (May 11), the Interior Ministry said.

Mina Mangal was well known in Kabul circles for her work presenting shows on several TV networks before she left journalism to become a cultural adviser to parliament.

Mangal was gunned down in broad daylight in the 8th district of Kabul as she waited for a car, said Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).

Two men on a motorcycle fired four shots into the air to disperse bystanders, said witnesses, who added the gunmen shot Mangal twice in the chest.

Mangal's relatives confirmed that she had been waiting for a ride to her job at the Wolesi Jirga (lower chamber of parliament).

No one immediately claimed responsibility for Mangal's death, and it was not immediately known why she had been targeted.

"All aspects of the case" are under investigation, police spokesman Ferdows Faramarz told RFE/RL, adding that Mangal's father had named a possible suspect.

Advocated right of Afghan women to work

Mangal worked for more than a decade as a presenter for Ariana, Shamshad and Lemar TV channels in Kabul.

She ran social-media pages on the rights of Afghan women to work and of Afghan girls to go to school.

Women's-rights activist Wazhma Frogh said Mangal had recently written on social media that she felt her life was in danger, AFP reported.

Mangal had written extensively about her involuntary arranged 2017 marriage and the arduous process of obtaining a divorce, which authorities granted in early May, RFE/RL reported.

At recent peace talks with US negotiators, Afghan Taliban leaders said they would no longer ban girls' education or employment for women.

Still, women's-rights activists have expressed concern that a peace deal with the Taliban could foster a return of Taliban-era repression. Despite advances since the Taliban's ouster in 2001, women in Afghanistan are still frequently marginalised.

Afghanistan is also the world's deadliest place for journalists, who face many risks covering the conflict and who have sometimes been targeted for doing their job.

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So far, our women are not safe in Afghanistan. We want the security forces to handover elements involved in the incidents to the judicial departments in order to seriously investigate them. She was daughter of a poor family and she was treated in a brutal way. Her dreams were shattered.