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The assassination of a ‘Brave Journalist of Afghanistan’

The assassination of a ‘Brave Journalist


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The prior night he kicked the bucket, Aliyas Dayee was up late working. This was not irregular for Dayee, who wouldn’t fret hitting the hay late or rising right on time for a story. That night, he was completing a radio report about an assault on an Afghan military checkpoint close to Lashkargah in Helmand territory, Afghanistan, where he lived.

Aliyas Dayee with Afghan National Army soldier in Helmand

Dayee, who was 33, was brought up in Helmand and consumed his working time on earth covering the recurring pattern of viciousness between the military and the Taliban. In the months paving the way to his demise, the savagery had been streaming. Indeed, even as harmony talks got going large number of miles away in Qatar, with the point of finishing the war, Afghanistan was encountering a flood in deaths of individuals in open life.

Dayee ultimately shut his PC and hit the sack, and toward the beginning of the day he and his sibling Mujtaba set off right on time to gather a Danish columnist he was assisting with a radio report. Dayee had as of late bought another vehicle so he could drive his older mother to the medical clinic in more noteworthy solace. He was industrious about checking its underside for explosives – getting down on the ground regardless of how short a period the vehicle had been left unattended. His companions would joke to him that he resembled a mouse – consistently ready, prepared at any second to shoot away from peril.

Afghan journalist Aliyas Dayee inside the 11th century city of Qala-e Bost which is most famous for its archway, built by the Ghaznavids. Bost is a half hour drive from the capital of Helmand Province Lashkar Gah.

The businesspeople inverse Dayee’s home said that he checked the vehicle as common that morning. Yet, an attractive “clingy bomb” had been set inside the wheel curve, police told the family, where it was difficult to spot, and it exploded soon after the two siblings went out, killing Dayee and injuring Mujtaba. Dayee’s significant other heard the blast from the house and went running.

The impact didn’t emerge from the blue. Dayee had gotten shadowy dangers throughout the years from the Taliban, regularly by method of the security administrations – enough for his bosses at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) to fly him a few times to Kabul for his wellbeing.

As of late, his family had attempted to convince him to move to the capital. For quite a long time, the Taliban had been pushing towards Lashkargah from encompassing areas and in October the assailants were surrounding the city.

The day preceding he kicked the bucket, Dayee messaged his companion Aziz Tassal, a Washington Post writer he had known for a very long time, to state he was stressed and figured he ought to go to Kabul. Tassal had regularly asked him to leave Helmand. “Three or multiple times he went to Europe for work, and each time I beseeched him to inquire as to whether he could remain,” Tassal said.

Be that as it may, Dayee stood up to. “Helmand is my spirit,” he told his companion. He would not like to leave his mom, spouse and their young little girl, or his sister and her youngsters who he had taken in when her better half was murdered in the line of obligation for the police. He had additionally as of late set up an enormous shelter in his nursery to offer sanctuary to four other related families uprooted by the battling, and they must be considered as well.


Dayee’s more youthful sibling, Mudassir Dawat, was not in Helmand the day his sibling passed on. He had followed Dayee into reporting and was in Kabul for a meeting. It was too hazardous to even think about returning to Helmand by street, so Dawat couldn’t get back so as to see Dayee let go. A couple of days after the fact, he plunked down and opened the PC his sibling had been chipping away at the night prior to the besieging. On the screen was Dayee’s sound altering programming, open on his last report. Dawat squeezed play, and heard again his sibling’s warm voice, addressing an old man uprooted by an assault that day.

  • “My body was shaking when I played it,” Dawat said. “It was his last work. His last voice.”
  • At the point when it was finished, he painstakingly delayed the account and left the product open.

Dayee had been working for RFE/RL – known as Radio Azadi in Afghanistan – for a very long time before his passing on 12 November. His rich, made-for-radio voice was known around Helmand, it ventured into homes and recounted accounts of war; accounts of the ever-present medication exchange; accounts of society and culture.

“Everyone knew his voice,” said Tassal. “A great deal of spots in Helmand there are no TVs, just radio. I used to let him know, Dayee you resemble bread, you are in each home.”

Dayee was additionally a fundamental asset for a significant number of the worldwide columnists and analysts who went all through the territory as the news traveled every which way.

Photojournalist Andrew Quilty started working with him in 2016 and continued working with him on and off for a very long time, building up a companionship. The two met in Lashkargah a month ago to direct meetings for Quilty’s digital broadcast, Afghanistan after America.

A selfie taken by Aliyas Dayee while travelling with Afghan security forces

“I would state 95% of stories, narratives, media of any sort that emerged from Lashkargah in the previous four or five years had his fingerprints on them,” Quilty said. “I think that its difficult to envision how his nonappearance will be filled.”

Ashley Jackson went with Dayee while exploring a PhD in the area in 2017. He was “hazardously interesting” she said. ‘He would make statements nobody else would state”.

“I totally wouldn’t have had the option to accomplish that work without him. It’s simply unrealistic to cover this world without Afghan journalists who understand what they’re doing.”

Dayee’s death gives up a dull spot in Helmand. No gathering has asserted duty regarding the bombarding, yet onlookers accept the Taliban are in all probability behind the ongoing spate of deaths. The executioners have focused on free voices – columnists, rights activists, government officials, and individuals who have supported advances in ladies’ privileges since the Taliban was brought down by US-drove powers in 2001.

Dayee was 14 at that point, when the Americans showed up. He experienced childhood in Chah-Anjeer in Nad-e Ali area in Helmand – a town named after a fig tree and ceaselessly trapped in the crossfire through moving wars. His dad’s 5400 Afs ($100) month to month compensation was extended daintily more than 25 relatives, seldom taking into consideration extravagances like pens and notebooks for school. For his entire life in Afghanistan Dayee saw viciousness – his initial years set apart by the riotous force vacuum left by the Soviets; his pre-youngster years by Taliban rule; and his young grown-up life by the desolates of the US intrusion and Taliban revolt.

In the wake of completing auxiliary school in, he left legitimately on a profession in news-casting, forming himself into a valiant journalist and turning into a face locally around Lashkargah.

Aliyas Dayee with local kids on the main road of the largely abandoned Tangay Bazaar, in government-controlled Kajaki.

“Dayee was a run of the mill town kid, yet his interest, contact-production and editorial abilities before long made him stick out,” says Auliya Atrafi, a previous columnist who experienced childhood in similar town and was instructed English by Dayee’s dad. “His dad was an autonomous soul with a propensity to take a gander at the world in an intriguing, basic way, and Dayee acquired that,” Atrafi said.

Sami Mahdi became more acquainted with Dayee later, ultimately overseeing him when Mahdi became Kabul department boss for RFE/RL in 2019. “He was an awesome soul and he had a high comical inclination,” Mahdi said. “Notwithstanding the continuous clashes he generally brought novel thoughts, created human interest stories. He was so exact, and he gave his reports this amazing, warm and persuasive voice.”

Dayee additionally felt constrained to be near the activity, regardless of the peril. “He was a disrupting correspondent to be near – a freethinker and daring person,” Atrafi said. “He generally pushed the limits, went to the forefront.”

He would now and again message his companion Aziz Tassal to state he was with the security powers, near the battling, and inquire as to whether anything turned out badly. “We kidded together consistently,” Tassal stated, “yet now and then the joke was intense.”

In 2017, Dayee’s mental fortitude was perceived in the “Valiant Journalist of the Year” class at the Kabul Press Club grants. The class is devoted to the memory of correspondent Samad Rohani, who was likewise murdered in Helmand, in 2008 – an unmistakable update that future for courageous columnists in Afghanistan can be short.

Afghan security officials inspect the scene of a IED blast in Lashkargah, the provincial capital of Helmand, Afghanistan, 12 November 2020.

What’s more, things seem, by all accounts, to be deteriorating. As indicated by neighborhood press opportunity bunch Nai, the previous five years have been the deadliest on record for columnists in Afghanistan, with at any rate 65 executed since 2016. Only five days before the death of Dayee, another clingy bomb killed three representatives of Afghanistan’s national bank just as Yama Siyawash, a renowned reporter who had recently worked for the Tolo News channel.

A couple of months before he passed on, in July, Siyawash plunked down for a meeting with Tolo TV, the diversion part of the channel. “Reporting is a minefield,” he said. “Furthermore, a mine can get you at any second.”

Killing a writer is a severely powerful method of quieting one voice and cowing others. Dayee’s homicide was “a hit to global inclusion as well as to neighborhood inclusion as well,” said Andrew Quilty. “The individuals who have endure are legitimately extremely concerned now about the suitability of filling in as a free columnist down there,” he said.

The death comes at a tricky time for the nation all in all. Active US President Donald Trump plans to radically draw down American soldiers in Afghanistan and the Taliban is fixing its hold on urban areas. The aggressors swore in an arrangement with the US in February that they would stop fear bunches like al-Qaeda working in the nation, however an UN official told the as of late the two gatherings were all the while working intently together. There are fears the public government is losing control.

Dayee was seeing this move close up. Influxes of uprooted families were showing up in Lashkargah as the Taliban drove into encompassing regions, and the last meeting he directed with Quilty was interspersed by consistent discharges.

A year ago, he purchased a plot of land among Lashkargah and Chah-Anjeer, where he grew up. He had bought some animals and started to plant a plantation. His old companion Aziz Tassal contemplated whether he was pondering a more secure lifestyle. In May, he welcomed Tassal to visit the plot, and the two men stayed there and talked for some time.