A Taliban member killed folk singer Fawad Andarabi in Afghanistan in circumstances that are still unclear, the musician’s family said Sunday.
VIDEO: Watch performance by Fawad Andarabi, musician killed by the Taliban
The murder took place on Friday in the Andarabi Valley, a mountainous region in Baghlan province, about 100 kilometers north of Kabul.
The Taliban claims they controlled the valley region, but there are some districts there where militias are still clashing with the extremist group. This area is adjacent to Panjshir, the only province the Taliban has failed to take over.
Armed Afghans resist Taliban in Parakh area of Bazarak, Panjshir province, on August 19, 2021 — Photo: Ahmad Sahel Arman/AFP
Taliban members had already been to Andarabi’s house — they even had tea with the musician, said Fawad’s son Jawad Andrabi. However, on Friday the Taliban killed the singer.
“He was an innocent singer who just entertained people. They shot him in the head,” said Jawad.
The son said he will seek justice, and that a local Taliban council has promised to punish the perpetrators of the murder.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the group would investigate the incident but had no information about the death.
Andarabi played an instrument called a ghichak, a kind of lute. He sang songs about where he was born, about his people and about Afghanistan.
A video posted on social networks shows Andarabi singing, sitting on a rug, in the middle of the mountains. The lyrics say that “There is no country in the world like my land, a proud nation, our beautiful valley, the home of our ancestors”.
Karima Bennoune, rapporteur of the United Nations (UN) for the right to culture, stated that he is very concerned about Andarabi’s death. “We call on governments to demand that the Taliban respect the rights of artists,” she said on social media.
Agnes Callamard, secretary general of Amnesty International, said there is evidence that the Taliban of 2021 is as bigoted, violent and repressive as the one of 2001.