His son, Jawad, told The Associated Press that the singer was “shot in the head” at the family farm in Andarab Valley, northern Baghlan province.
“He was innocent, a singer who only entertained people,” his son said. The PA was the first to report the death of Fawad Andarabi.
CNN has not independently confirmed the circumstances surrounding the singer’s murder, but former Afghan interior minister Massoud Andarabi, who is also from the district the family is named after, has spoken publicly of his death.
“Taliban brutality continues in Andarab. Today they brutally killed folk singer Fawad Andarabi who was simply bringing joy to this valley and its people. As he sang here” our beautiful valley … land of our ancestors … “will not submit to the brutality of the Taliban,” he tweeted on Saturday.
The murder has raised concerns about a return to the harsh form of domination the Taliban imposed during their last control of Afghanistan, from 1996 to 2001. Meanwhile, the Taliban have banned most forms of music. as non-Islamic.
But the group’s earlier intolerance for music without religious significance has made rights defenders suspicious of a new crackdown on artists.
UN Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights Karima Bennoune and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador on Artistic Freedom Deeyah Khan have expressed “grave concern” over reports of Andarabi’s murder.
“As the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights, (along with) UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Artistic Freedom Deeyah Khan, I express my deep concern at reports of the singer’s terrible murder. #FawadAndarabi. We call on governments to demand that the Taliban respect the #human rights of # artists, “Bennoune said on Twitter on Saturday.
The Andarab Valley is located next to the Panjshir Valley, 90 miles north of Kabul, where sporadic fighting between the Taliban and an armed coalition of northern militias known as the Northern Alliance has been taking place since last week. Recent fighting has also taken place in districts of the Andarab Valley.
Taliban commanders told CNN that an agreement had been put in place to end offensive actions; however, the Northern Alliance did not directly comment.