Taliban fighters have shot dead an Afghan folk singer after music and women’s voices were banned from television and radio. Fawad Andarabi he was dragged from his home and shot in the head in the village of Andarab, north of Kabul, on Friday, his family said. The assassination has sparked an outcry and fueled fears of a return to the repressive regime of the 1990s since Taliban fighters invaded Kabul two weeks ago.
The murder of the folk singer on Friday occurred in the Andarabi Valley, which gave him his name, an area of Baghlan province about 100 kilometers north of Kabul. The valley has witnessed violence since the conquest of the taliban and some districts fell into the hands of militants opposed to the Taliban. The Taliban claim to have retaken these areas, although neighboring Panjshir, in the Hindu Kush Mountains, remains the only one of the country’s 34 provinces that they do not control.
The fighters had already visited and searched Andarabi’s house and even they had tea with the musicianhis son Jawad Andarabi told the AP. But something changed on Friday. “He was innocent, a singer who just entertained people,” said his son. “He was shot in the head on the farm.”
His son said he wanted justice and that a local Taliban council had promised to punish his father’s killer.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told the AP that the insurgents would investigate the case, but had no further information. Larima Bennoune, United Nations Special Envoy for Cultural Rights, and Agnes Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International, expressed concern about the murder. “There is mounting evidence that the Taliban of 2021 are the same as the intolerant, violent and repressive Taliban of 2001,” Callamard wrote on Twitter. “Twenty years later. Nothing has changed in that sense.