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RSF Says Investigation Into 2020 Killing Of RFE/RL Reporter 'Must Conclude'

Mohammad Ilyas Dayee was killed in a bombing in November 2020.

Reporters Without Border (RSF) has called for the completion of an investigation into the 2020 killing of RFE/RL Afghan service reporter Mohammad Ilyas Dayee.

The French media watchdog made the call on the second anniversary of Dayee’s killing in a targeted attack in southern Helmand Province.

RSF spokesperson Pauline Ades-Mevel told RFE/RL’s Radio Azadi on November 12 that the “investigation must conclude and such attacks should never happen again.”

Dayee 33, was killed on November 12, 2020, when a bomb attached to his vehicle exploded. No one claimed responsibility for the attack, which was condemned by the United States and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

The former Afghan government blamed the Taliban and claimed that “a Taliban associate who plotted the attack” was arrested. The Taliban denied any involvement in the attack, but the individual who was arrested by the former government was reportedly released from prison as the Taliban regained power last year.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Radio Azadi that an investigation was under way into Dayee’s killing. Yet Taliban officials have failed to offer any details on the claimed investigation.

Afghanistan ranked fourth in the 2022 Impunity Index -- behind Somalia (1), Syria (2), and South Sudan (3) -- published by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), which puts the spotlight on countries where journalists are murdered and their killers go unpunished.

The situation for journalists has deteriorated since the Taliban took control in August 2021 as U.S.-led international forces withdrew from Afghanistan, with hundreds of media workers fleeing the country out of fear of the fundamentalist group’s harsh record. Many others have been questioned or arrested.

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    RFE/RL's Radio Azadi

    RFE/RL's Radio Azadi is one of the most popular and trusted media outlets in Afghanistan. Nearly half of the country's adult audience accesses Azadi's reporting on a weekly basis.