First Vice President Amrullah Saleh on Wednesday said that security forces have arrested an "11-member Taliban cell responsible for numerous bombings" including murder of former Afghan journalist Yama Siawash.
“It all started with a tip from an informant and enabled Kabul police department to identify, locate and apprehend an 11 member Talib terror cell responsible for numerous bombings including murder of iconic Yama Siawash on Nov 7. Dozens of sticky bombs and IED found in their caches,” Saleh tweeted.
“We have invited media community, human rights organizations, civil society activists and advocacy groups to see the files, interview the terrorists and fulfill the wish of the grieving families,” he said.
Siawash, who worked as media adviser of the Central Bank and was former TOLOnews’ presenter, as well as Hamdullah Anas, the deputy head of the Central Bank office, and Aminullah Rezadee, a driver at the bank, were killed in the explosion that targeted their vehicle in Makrorayan-e-Char area in downtown Kabul on November 7, 2020.
According to a recent report by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, at least 11 human rights defenders and media workers were killed in targeted attacks in Afghanistan from September 2020 through to 31 January 2021.
A total of 65 human rights defenders and media professionals were killed in the period from 1 January 2018 to 31 January 2021, it said.
On April 2, Human Rights Watch has accused the Taliban of "deliberately targeting journalists and other media workers, including women," in Afghanistan, saying that such attacks and threats have increased sharply since the start of the talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Doha.
The watchdog says these attacks increase concerns about preserving freedom of expression and the media in any peace settlement.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) says it has found that “the Taliban commanders and fighters have engaged in a pattern of threats, intimidation, and violence against members of the media in areas where the Taliban have significant influence, as well as in Kabul.”