By Ewelina Lepionko
Threats and attacks against Afghan journalists have increased to record numbers in the last months.
One of Afghanistan's most high-profile reporters faces the double threat from the Taliban of being a journalist and a woman.
Afghan journalist Anisa Shaheed is one of many women who fear their freedom to work and study will be curbed as the Taliban taking over the country.
Reporters here always faced dangers. But the past six months have seen a rapid rise in targeted killings of journalists, often without anyone claiming responsibility.
"I think that I love what I do too much, and it's because I want to contribute to freedom of speech and press for my country, Afghanistan. I thought that my work could have a positive impact."
Kabul-based journalist Anisseh Shahid began her career as a political reporter, went on to become head of news at the independent TV channel Tolonews, and finally decided to return to reporting in the field.
She covers stories on the country’s political situation, elections, human rights, and security.
With Taliban’s rapid advance, many women in Afghanistan are fleeing their homes, fearing murder, rape and forced marriage. pic.twitter.com/p4uSMiLIXy— DW News (@dwnews) August 13, 2021
In 2020 Reporters Without Borders has recognized journalist Anisa Shaheed for "courageous" reporting amid the coronavirus outbreak. She was selected for the award from amongst 1,700 nominations.
Anisa was listed in a group of 30 international “information heroes” -- journalists, whistleblowers, and media outlets-- whose "courage, perseverance or capacity to innovate has helped to circulate reliable and vital information during the Covid-19 pandemic."
RSF spotlighted Shaheed's covering of the shooting attack on the maternity ward of a Kabul hospital in mid-May and the government’s mishandling of the pandemic.
BBC News: "Afghanistan: Journalist Anisa Shaheed refuses to give in to Taliban" https://t.co/ZCxJZGcsxW— Evan Kohlmann (@IntelTweet) August 14, 2021
These days she knows she can't give up. Her role in society is increasing. The journalist does not want to give up and wants to inform the world about what is happening in her country.
Today in Afghanistan women and children are suffering the most.
Afghanistan- the Taliban’s sweeping gains have deepened the country’s humanitarian catastrophe.https://t.co/teUo6fHfVd— Keele World Affairs (@KeeleWorldA4rs) August 14, 2021
Many educated Afghan women have taken to social media to appeal for help and express their frustration.
When the fundamentalist group ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 they imposed Sharia law, a strict interpretation of Islamic law which meant women could not work, girls were banned from attending school and women had to cover their faces in public and always be accompanied by a male relative if they wanted to leave their homes. Women who broke the rules sometimes suffered humiliation and public beatings by the Taliban's religious police. The Taliban also carried out public executions, chopped off the hands of thieves, and stoned women accused of adultery.
Afghan women, girls fear to return to 'dark days' as the Taliban push stronger. The Taliban’s rapid-fire advance left women and girls, a whole generation of whom have grown up with rights and freedoms, among the most vulnerable. Now they stand to lose those hard-won gains.
© 2000 - 2021 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)