ABC: An Afghan Australian who was tortured and killed in Afghanistan while visiting relatives was targeted because he was Australian, authorities say.
Sayed Habib Musawi, 56, grew up in Helmand Province, in Afghanistan’s south, and came to Australia by boat in 2000.
He held an Australian passport and citizenship and lived in Sydney’s west with his family, who were brought to Australia in 2005.
Mr Musawi was killed last week during a trip to Afghanistan to visit his family.
He was returning to the capital, Kabul, after visiting relatives in Ghazni province. His body was found on the side of the road.
The ABC was told he was the only one pulled off a bus by Taliban militants.
In the last week, Taliban fighters have killed more than 100 people in that area, beheading some, as they capitalise on the withdrawal of Western troops and battle to gain control of the district.
Ghazi’s deputy governor, Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, said Mr Musawi was killed in a “non-human” manner.
“His hands were tied from the back and there were signs of beating,” Mr Ahmadi told AM.
“The bullet wounds were clearly visible on his dead body. The murderers beat and tortured him. People in the area contacted us, so we ordered the district security chief to investigate.
“After an investigation it became clear that the dead body belongs to Sayed Habib, an Afghan Australian who came to visit his family.”
Mr Ahmadi said Mr Musawi was killed by the Taliban because he was an Australian citizen.
“Of course the reason is that he was an Afghan-Australian,” he said.
“He didn’t do anything besides that – he didn’t do anything wrong, he wasn’t a criminal, he wasn’t involved in government activities.
“The reason of his murder was very clear – that he was a dual citizen, he came from a country that Taliban think is an infidel country.
“When the Taliban arrested him, he said to them, ‘I came from Australia to see my family.’ And then the Taliban… issued an order for his murder.”
Tragedy has devastated whole family: son
Mr Musawi left behind a wife and four children.
His 23-year-old son, Nemat Musawi, said the family was trying to piece together what happened.
“What can I say? We’re just shocked,” he told AM.
“The whole family is devastated. We can’t believe it. I just spoke to my dad a week-and-a-half ago and he was with family members and he said he was going to call me back.
“I was waiting for his call and then the next thing I hear he’s been shot dead by Taliban three times.”
Nemat Musawi said it appeared his father was deliberately targeted.
“It seems like it was all set up, because they just stopped the bus on the way to Ghazni and then they just went straight to my dad … called him and pulled him out of the bus,” he said.
“What my family is going through, I don’t want any other family to go through. We want justice for us, for my mum, for my family.”
The Musawi family have asked for assistance from the Australian Government.
In a statement, a spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the Australian embassy in Kabul was still trying to confirm reports of the death.
“The area where these events reportedly occurred is contested by the Taliban and it will be difficult to obtain definitive and official confirmation of the man’s death from the Afghanistan Government,” the spokesman said.
“Consular officials are providing assistance to the man’s family.”
By Tahmina Ansari
ABC News (AM)