Afghanistan: a former MP shot dead in her home

A former Afghan MP was killed, along with one of her bodyguards, on the night of Saturday to Sunday, at her home in Kabul by armed men, we learned from the police on Sunday.

Mursal Nabizada, who had been a member of parliament under the previous Western-backed government, had refused to flee Afghanistan when the Taliban took power in August 2021.

She was shot dead overnight by unidentified persons, police spokesman Khalid Zadran told reporters. One of his brothers was also injured in the attack, detailed the same source in a press release.

The security forces have opened an investigation to try to “find the criminals and bring them to justice”, added the police spokesman.

Mursal Nabizada, 32, from Nangarhar province (east), was elected MP for Kabul in 2018.

A graduate in business administration, she completed her schooling in Peshawar, in neighboring Pakistan, before returning to Afghanistan.

His former colleague in parliament Mariam Solaimankhil paid tribute to a “true pioneer”. “A strong, outspoken woman who stood up for what she believed in, even in the face of danger,” she tweeted.

“Although she was offered the opportunity to leave Afghanistan, she chose to stay and fight for her people,” said Mariam Solaimankhil.

Mursal Nabizada “was killed in the dark, but the #Taliban are building their gender apartheid system in broad daylight”, reacted in a tweet, German environmentalist MEP Hannah Neumann, saying she was “sad” and “in anger”.

During the two decades of US-led military intervention in Afghanistan, women rose to important positions throughout Afghan society, with many becoming judges, journalists, police officers or entering politics.

Most of them have nevertheless fled the country since the Taliban regained power in August 2021.

Since their return, the latter have imposed severe restrictions on Afghan women, dismissing them from public jobs, prohibiting them from attending secondary schools and universities, or from going to parks. They also ordered women to cover themselves in public, ideally with a burqa (full veil).

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