The Telegraph reports that Taliban gunmen killed Sitara Achakzai, a women’s rights activist, outside of her home in the city of Kandahar in broad daylight. Police chief Matiullah Khan Qateh said four men drove up on two motorcycles and shot Sitara Achakzai as she was getting out of her car. As Women on the Web reports, the Taliban have been after Achakzai ever since she returned from Germany after the war to work for women’s rights in Afghanistan:
“This isn’t the first time Achakzai found herself in extremists’ cross-hairs. She was injured in a suicide attack at a Kandahar government building two weeks ago. She had just returned from the hospital when the assassination occurred. Her friends urged her to leave the country, but Ms. Achakzai insisted on staying in Afghanistan.”
Achakzai helped organize a nationwide sit-in during which women thousands of Afghan women prayed for peace to mark International Women’s Day.
The Taliban quickly took credit for the assassination. Achakzai’s assassination occurs only a few days after the Afgahnistan government was forced into reconsidering its infamous family law that legalized rape of wives by their husbands. Wenny Kusmuma, the Director of the United Nations Development fund for Women in Afghanistan said:
“This cold-blooded assassination puts in question the direction that Afghanistan is heading. There is no respect for the rule of law.”
Photo courtesy of the Afghan Embassy