Press release

Director-General denounces killing of journalist Malala Maiwand in Afghanistan


Paris, 10 December—UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay has called for measures to improve the safety of journalists following the killing of journalist and women’s rights activist Malala Maiwand and her driver Mohammad Tahir in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, on 10 December.

As we observe Human Rights Day (10 December), I condemn the killing of journalist Malala Maiwand and support staffer Mohammad Tahir. This attack clearly targeted a journalist who defended women’s rights and freedom of expression. Maiwand’s voice needed to be heard and we need better measures to prevent criminals from suppressing the rights she promoted.

Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General

Ms Maiwand, a reporter for radio and television broadcaster Enikas, and her driver were killed by unidentified gunmen in Jalalabad. Maiwand was a women’s rights activist who had spoken publicly about the challenges facing female journalists in Afghanistan. She was a member of the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IWART).

UNESCO promotes the safety of journalists through global awareness-raising, capacity building and a range of actions, notably in the framework of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

See also: UNESCO observatory of killed journalists

Media contact: Guilherme Canela de Souza Godoi