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Slain ex-journalist’s father appeals to UNSC to ensure justice is carried out

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(Last Updated On: December 27, 2020)

In a letter to the UN Security Council, the father of slain former journalist Yama Siawash has called on the organization to help the family get answers and cooperation from the relevant authorities in connection with the investigation into his son’s assassination. 

In his letter, Mohammad Dawood Siawash said if government closes the case into his son’s death without finding out what happened, “the way it has routinely done with such cases during the past twenty years, we shall reserve our right to file our complaint with the ICCT in The Hague.”

Yama Siawash, who was a well known TV presenter until changing jobs recently, died in a targeted killing in Kabul on November 7. 

At the time of his death he had been working as an advisor to the Central Bank, Da Afghanistan Bank, and had been travelling in an official vehicle when the explosion happened. 

Dawood Siawash said: “And now due to the lack of attention by the Government of Afghanistan and the Bank in this regard, with tears and sighs and sighs from the tyranny of the Afghanistan government I am writing this appeal to you.”

He said both government and the bank have remained tight-lipped about the case and all his questions remain unanswered. 

In his letter, the father stated the head of the bank had repeatedly requested his son join the organization. After turning down the position as spokesman, Yama Siawash eventually agreed to work for the bank as an advisor. 

Yama Siawash had only been with the bank for three weeks when he was assassinated. 

His father has repeatedly called for investigations to include tracking earlier routes of the vehicle his son had been traveling in as it had onboard GPS. He pointed out in the letter that the car had reportedly been parked in the bank’s car park for two days before being used to collect Yama from his home. 

“An investigation must be carried out on the commuting route of the bank’s service car and its stops on its way from the bank to Makroryan 4 through GPS, covering the date of the aforementioned assignment through the date explosion took place,” the letter read.

He also stated that CCTV footage from cameras in the car park need to be worked through and also cameras at a Makroryan traffic intersection close to where the explosion happened. 

He said other surveillance footage must also be collected from the blimp above the President Palace, which records all traffic movement in the area. 

He said only once all of this information and footage had been collected could the investigation move forward. 

Contrary to official reports that a magnetic IED had been the cause of the explosion, Dawood Siawash said the actual scene of the attack suggested it had been another type of explosive device – one that came from beneath the vehicle. 

He also said the device had not been on a timer but all indications point towards it having been detonated by remote control. 

“Experts say that the bomb planted in the car was not a time bomb as the congestion in Kabul’s traffic makes it impossible to predict how long it would take the car to get from the bank to Makrorayan 4th. Besides, Yama Siawash did not frequent his office at fixed hours. Therefore, there is a possibility of explosion via remote control.”

Dawood Siawash has pointed a fingure at the bank and accused it of not cooperating with security agencies investigating the assassination. 

“The governor of the bank called Yama Siawash’s father after a day or two from the event and spoke in total indifference and cold blood of the cooperation of the security offices, the bank’s management refused to cooperate with the bodies who were interested in finding out the truth,” Dawood Siawash stated in the letter.

He then went on to list the family’s demands and said all avenues need to be followed up on to identify the killer and that all relevant security agencies need to cooperate in accordance with the law. 

He also warned the authorities against tampering with evidence and said the family reserves “the right to request” a neutral crime investigation team from the UN. 

“We want the government to identify Yama Siawash’s murderer as soon as possible, bring him to justice at a fair trial and punish him in accordance with the provisions of the law,” he stated in the letter.

“We believe that the silence, indifference and even the prejudiced justifications of the bank and the government during the week following Yama Siawash’s martyrdom are raising questions. 

“We request the UN’s office to exert pressure on the Afghan government so that it identifies and detains the perpetrators of this murder in no time.

“If ever the government tries to leave the file of Yama Siawash’s murder into oblivion, the way it has routinely done with such cases during the past twenty years, we shall reserve our right to file our complaint with the ICCT in The Hague.”

In the letter, Dawood Siawash states the bank has a lot to answer to but in conclusion also asked the UNSC to help ensure the safety of him and his family and to help ensure justice is carried out. 

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Daesh claims responsibility for mosque attack in Kandahar

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(Last Updated On: October 16, 2021)

Islamic State (Daesh) claimed responsibility for a suicide bomber attack at a Shi’ite mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar which left dozens killed and injured, a statement posted by the group’s Amaq news agency said on Friday.

The statement added that two Daesh fighters shot the guards of the mosque dead, broke in and blew themselves up between two groups of worshippers, one of which consisted of around 300 people.

It was the second week in a row that Daesh militants bombed Friday prayers and killed dozens of worshippers.

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Muttaqi calls on international community to recognize IEA government

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(Last Updated On: October 15, 2021)

Afghanistan’s Foreign acting Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi accused the international community on Friday (October 15) of “violating the rights of Afghan people” by not recognizing the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) government.

Speaking to Reuters on the second day of a two-day visit to Turkey’s capital of Ankara, Muttaqi said he discussed the recognition of the IEA’s government with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu as well.

“The fact that all of them are recognized and the new Islamic government of Afghanistan is not recognized is an injustice and oppression of the Afghan people… Afghanistan wants positive relations with the world and the world must respond positively to this message,” he said.

Almost two months after the former Western-backed government collapsed and IEA forces swept into Kabul, the IEA administration has pushed to build relations with other countries to help stave off a catastrophic economic crisis.

But the IEA has so far refused to give ground on allowing girls to return to high school, one of the key demands of the international community after a decision last month that schools above the sixth grade would only reopen for boys.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday he had conveyed Turkey’s recommendations regarding the inclusion of women in the workforce and education of girls.
Meanwhile, Cavusoglu reiterated the importance of government inclusiveness for Afghanistan’s unity.

“We once again explained the importance of including people from all ethnic and religious groups, besides the Taliban (Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan), in the administration. Especially in these difficult times, this is important in terms of establishing unity and solidarity within the country,” Cavusoglu said.

NATO member Turkey maintained its embassy in Kabul after Western countries withdrew following the fall of the U.S.-backed Afghan government and have urged those countries to increase engagement.

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Blast targets mosque in Kandahar

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(Last Updated On: October 15, 2021)

A large explosion ripped through a mosque in the southern Kandahar province on Friday afternoon.

The blast happened at the Shi’ite Fatimiya mosque during Friday prayers, causing heavy casualties.

Sources said at least 34 people were killed and 69 others wounded in the explosion. Afghan officials have not confirmed the casualties so far.

Qari Saeed Khosti, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, has told Reuters that authorities were collecting details of the explosion.

The blast took place days after a suicide bomb attack claimed by Islamic State on a Shi’ite mosque in the northern city of Kunduz that killed and wounded more than 200 people.

So far, no group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The blast, coming so soon after the Kunduz attack underlined the increasingly uncertain security in Afghanistan as the Islamic State has stepped up operations following the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan victory over the Western-backed government in Kabul in August.

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