Political Adviser And Former Afghan TV Presenter Shot Dead In Kabul
Mina Mangal, a former leading Afghan journalist, and parliamentary adviser was shot dead on Saturday (11 May 2019) in Kabul, a week after she expressed fears for her own life in her Facebook post.
As per reports, Mangal who was currently working as a political advisor was on her way to work at 7:30 am. She was waiting for a car to take her to the lower chamber of parliament when two unidentified men on a motorbike shot her dead at point-blank range.
Although police are investigating the case to find her attackers, it is still not clear who is behind Mangal’s murder.
Mangal was born in Paktia province, studied journalism in Kabul and worked in media for ten years. She made her name as a presenter on Tolo TV, the Pashto language channel and country’s largest private broadcaster. Afterwards, she worked for Shamshad TV. Mina Mangal was an ardent advocate of women’s rights to education and work. She had recently become a cultural adviser to the lower chamber of Afghanistan’s national parliament. According to Fox News, much of Mangal’s work focused on the rights of Afghan women to work and the right of Afghan girls to go to school.
Mangal’s Facebook Post & outcry
Wazhma Frogh, an Afghan human rights lawyer and women’s rights campaigner told The Guardian, “This woman had already shared that her life was in danger; why did nothing happen? We need answers. Why is it so easy in this society (for men) to keep killing women they don’t agree with?”
Mangal in her Facebook post on May 3 said that she was being sent threatening messages, but wrote that a strong woman is not afraid of death and that she loves her country.
Frogh even shared her emotions on the murder of Mina Mangal while tweeting her message on Twitter.
Mariam Wardak, a political analyst also took to Twitter to share her feelings on the incident.
One of Mangal’s colleagues, Shagufa Noorzai, a member of Parliament tweeted,
In an emotional post on Twitter, Mangal’s mother named a group of men as suspected killers. She says they had kidnapped her daughter in the past and were even arrested for the abduction, but they bribed their way out of prison. While talking to Tolo News, she says, “They took my daughter in the car, injected her 13 times. Her clothes are still smeared with blood. She was beaten. I have proof and videos. I have all the evidence and the file.”
In the past two decades, there have been many attacks on women holding public positions including politicians, students, police-women, journalists, and educators. Some of them are targeted by the ones who object to women having a role in public life while others get attacked by the members of their own community or conservative relatives. Journalists in Afghanistan are increasingly targeted in recent years, with 13 killed in 2018 alone. At least 48 journalists were killed in Afghanistan between 1994 and 2018, reports CNN.
Days before the attack on Mangal, the Taliban attacked the headquarters of an international aid group in Kabul, mentioning its work on the rights of women as one of the reasons for the attack