Wali Arian was one of the first Afghan TV journalist to report on the systematic brutalities the Taliban inflicted on the people of the Kunduz province in Afghanistan. In 2015, Arian was among 10 TOLO TV journalists dispatched to the province of Kunduz in north-eastern Afghanistan and embedded among the Afghan security forces in order to cover the provincial capital city’s fall into the hands of Taliban forces and the subsequent fight to recapture the territory. Arian and his colleagues in TOLO TV has since been a main target of Taliban’s attacks.
In January 2016, a Taliban suicide attack aimed at the television channel's cars killed seven journalists and 25 others were injured. After that, my family and I moved several times and lived at secret addresses.
says Wali Arian.
The decision to leave Afghanistan came after he started to receive serious threats to his family, and especially against the four-year-old daughter.
If it had only been me, it would not matter, but I could not risk my family's lives.
It has been a month since Wali and his family landed in Malmö.
It feels incredible to be part of Malmö's ICORN programme. I will continue journalism and engage in various cultural activities. I look forward to knowing what Sweden has to offer.
says Wali Arian
Elisabeth Lundgren, Director of Culture in the City of Malmö, welcomes Wali Arian to the programme and to Malmö's cultural life.
It has been a very urgent matter. Already this autumn, ICORN announced that they quickly needed to find a place for Wali Arian, because the threat was so imminent against him and his family. We have two ICORN programmes running simultaneously in Malmö, and recently had a residency available, so we acted quickly. The shelter-programme has developed in a very good way in Malmö, and we have prepared well for our new guest and his family.
Abdul Wali Arian
Abdul Wali Arian is a young, award-winning journalist. Having obtained a BA in Journalism from Kabul University in 2007, Arian has worked for several large Afghan media houses including Kabul-based TOLO TV – part of MOBY group – and TV1, where his reporting has focused on producing documentaries, investigative reports and features focusing on conflict and politics.
Arian is the recipient of at least four awards for his work as a journalist. Among them, Arian received the Afghan Journalist Safety Committee’s Elite Journalist Award 2014 for his documentary reporting on the war in Helmand province. Most recently, he was among 12 journalists awarded a medal of valour by President Ashraf Ghani to mark World Press Freedom Day 2016.