Last year international press rights organization Reporters without Borders (RSF) recognized Anisa Shaheed for “courageous” reporting amid the coronavirus outbreak. RSF listed her as one of 30 international “information heroes” during the pandemic.
The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) awarded the Afghan TV-Veteran 11th of November 2022 underlining her courage and engagement:
“Anisa Shaheed, a veteran television journalist known for fearless coverage of human rights, violence and corruption in Afghanistan, is a 2022 recipient of the Knight International Journalism Award presented by the International Center for Journalists.” (ICJV)
After lot of threads and hardships the Journalist moved to the United States and is currently reporting as a Freelancer from there. On her Facebook Page she published a moving statement:
Shaheed grew up under the Taliban’s harsh regime when women and girls were excluded from participating in the society. After they lost power in 2001 new opportunities opened up for women, she attended university and launched her journalism career.
Based in Kabul, Shaheed first worked as a reporter for the Cheragh Daily Newspaper and News Chief for Hindu Kush News, then joined independent television channel TOLOnews in 2009. She worked for TOLOnews for 12 years before she was forced to leave Afghanistan when the Taliban returned to power in 2021.
In a country known as one of the most dangerous in the world for journalists, Shaheed faced the double threat of being a journalist and a woman. She risked her safety to cover a vicious terrorist attack on a maternity hospital where 22 people were killed, including women who were shot while delivering their babies.
She risked her health to report on the ravages of COVID-19 and the Afghan government’s mishandling of resources meant to combat the disease. And when a senior Afghan official came forward in 2016 to say that he had been kidnapped and sexually abused on the orders of the vice president, he sat down with Shaheed for an interview. The allegations sparked a public outcry and charges were brought against the vice president, who went into exile.
In 2021 she said in an interview with CGTN: “As a result of violence or target killings, we’ve lost 138 journalists over the past years. Out of that, 12 were my colleagues, we ate, talked and worked together in the same place..” In her last Bureau at Tolo TV she was sitting at her desk beside a thick iron door that can be bolted shut in an emergency to slow an attack. When the Taliban entered Kabul she had to leave the country.