The Taliban have reportedly killed an Afghan singer, sparking concerns that the insurgents will return to their oppressive rule.
Fawad Andarabi was shot and killed on Friday in the Andarabi Valley, for which he was named, his family said on Sunday.
His area, Baghlan province, some 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Kabul, was recaptured by the Taliban on August 15.
Andarabi’s son Jawad told the Associated Press that the Taliban had previously come to his father’s home and searched it, even drinking tea with the musician. But something changed on Friday.
He was innocent, a singer who was only entertaining people,’ Jawad said. ‘They shot him in the head on the farm’.
Jawad said he wants justice and that a local Taliban council promised to punish his father’s killer.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told the AP that the insurgents would investigate the incident, but said he had no other details on the killing.
Andarabi played the ghichak, a bowed lute, and sang traditional songs about his birthplace, his people, and Afghanistan as a whole.
A video shared online showed him during one performance, sitting on a rug and surrounded by mountains as he sang.
‘There is no country in the world like my homeland, a proud nation,’ he sang. ‘Our beautiful valley, our great-grandparents’ homeland’.
Masoud Andarabi, former Afghan minister of the interior, wrote in a Twitter post alongside the video: ‘Taliban’s brutality continues in Andarab. Today they brutally killed folkloric singer, Fawad Andarabi who simply was bringing joy to this valley and its people.
‘As he sang here ‘our beautiful valley….land of our forefathers…’ will not submit to Taliban’s brutality.’
Andarabi’s slaying also drew responses from the international community, with Karima Bennoune, the United Nations special rapporteur on cultural rights, writing on Twitter that she had ‘grave concern’ over the killing.
Agnes Callamard, the secretary-general of Amnesty International, also decried the killing.
‘There is mounting evidence that the Taliban of 2021 is the same as the intolerant, violent, repressive Taliban of 2001,’ she wrote on Twitter. ’20 years later. Nothing has changed on that front.’