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‘Journalist killed in Helmand was already threatened by Taliban’

AT News

KABUL: The Human Rights Watch claims that Taliban had earlier threatened Elyas Dayee, a local journalist in the southern province of Helmand to death.

Dayee was killed Thursday when a magnetic bomb placed in his car, went off in the provincial capital city of Lashkar Gah. His brother was injured in the incident.

Dayee was working the Radio Liberty in Helmand for more than a decade.

The Human Rights Watch said Friday that the killing of Dayee is a clear message that reporting about Taliban could endanger journalists’ lives.

“Dayee had told his colleagues that Taliban had warned him in October not to report about their recent operation in Helmand or losing some areas and their casualties,” the New York-based organization said in a statement.

Patricia Grossman, head of the HRW office in Asia, called Dayee’s killing as a “barbaric murder”, saying that the incident makes serious doubts regarding the preserve of freedom of speech in any peace deals with Taliban.

The HRW says that tens of Afghan journalists have been recently threatened by Taliban.

It said that Taliban had searched Dayee’s house a couple of weeks ago and asked him some questions. They had also asked Dayee’s neighbors to inform them about his activities, according to the statement.

It called on the Taliban to end all threats and attacks against the media as well as harassment and punishment of civilians who criticize their policies.

“Taliban seem to be more daring after the peace negotiations. They carry out deadly mistreatments with no fear from being accountable,” Grossman said.

Dayee’s death comes just five days after another journalist Yama Siawash was killed along with his two friends in a similar attack in Kabul.

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