Women's rights activist shot dead in northern Afghanistan

Women's rights activist shot dead in northern Afghanistan
The 29 year old activist was recognised "by her clothes" as "bullets destroyed her face", according to comments made by her family.
2 min read
06 November, 2021
The Taliban said four women were found dead in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif [Getty]

A women's rights activist has been shot and killed in northern Afghanistan in the first known death of a women's rights defender under the Taliban's new rule, The Guardian reported late on Friday.

Frozan Safi was identified by her family in a morgue in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, after she went missing on October 20, and was "recognised... by her clothes" as "bullets destroyed her face", her sister Rita told The Guardian.

"There were bullet wounds all over, too many to count, on her head, heart, chest, kidneys and legs... we just don't know who killed her," she added.

The 29-year-old activist attended the most recent protest in Mazar-i-Sharif against Taliban rule, according to a protest organiser, as women across the country said organising such protests was becoming increasingly difficult and dangerous.

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Two suspects were arrested after her body, along with the bodies of three other women, were discovered at a house in the city's fifth police district, Taliban officials said.

The suspects "admitted" that they invited the women to the house, Qari Sayed Khosti, Afghan interior ministry spokesman said in a statement.

A rights group source told AFP that the women received a call which they thought was an invitation to join an evacuation flight, and were picked up by a car before being found dead.

Safi also received a call from an anonymous number asking her to gather evidence of her work as a rights defender and leave for safety, which she did, according to her sister who added that Safi thought the call meant her request for asylum was approved.

"Further investigations are under way and the case has been referred to court," Khosti said.

Agencies contributed to this report.