Murder of Afghan Female Journalist Puts Honor Crimes in the Spotlight

Published May 13th, 2019 - 10:57 GMT

News of the brutal murder of prominent ex-TV journalist Mina Mangal in Afghanistan quickly made headways on social media.

The journalist who was shot dead in Kabul on early May 11 as she was waiting for a car, has been widely known for her activism in women rights and freedoms in Afghanistan. She worked for more than a decade as a presenter for the private Ariana TV, the private TOLO Pashto-language television channel Lamar, and the private national television broadcaster Shamshad TV.

In addition to running popular social media pages discussing issues related to women rights and girls going to school and work, Mina, had previously written extensively on how she was forced into an arranged marriage in 2017 and the challenges when she wanted to obtain a divorce that she got earlier in the same month she was killed in.

Mina’s family confirmed she was shot dead while waiting for a ride to take her to work as a cultural adviser in the Lower House of Afghanistan's parliament, the Wolesi Jirga. The police say investigations are ongoing as to the motives of the murder, yet her relatives confirmed she was at odds with her former in-laws which increases the probability she was shot by her family, labelling killing a “honor crime”.

This is in addition to the fact that Mina had posted on her social media pages earlier this month she received death threats from an unknown source.

The story sparked much debate over honor crimes generally and crimes against women activists in Afghanistan. It also led the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to mourn Mina Mangal.

Several activists demanded justice for Mina as it affects all women in Afghanistan.

Her murder comes amidst ongoing peace talks between Taliban leaders and US officials on women rights, during which the Taliban officials have confirmed they no longer insist on banning girls’ education and women employment.

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