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In 2005, while still a student at Herat University, she had her first book of poetry published, Gul-e-dodi ("Dark Red Flower") which proved popular in Afghanistan, Pakistan and even nearby Iran. Then, on November 4 of that year, police officers found her body in her home in the western city of Herat. Soon afterward, a senior police officer, Nisar Ahmad Paikar, stated that her husband had confessed to battering her, following a row, but not to killing her. It was reported that she died as a result of injuries to her head.
The United Nations condemned the killing soon afterwards. Their spokesperson, Adrian Edwards, said that "[t]he death of Nadia Anjuman, as reported, is indeed tragic and a great loss to Afghanistan... It needs to be investigated and anyone found responsible needs to be dealt with in a proper court of law". Paikar confirmed that her husband had indeed been charged. According to friends and family, Anjuman was apparently a disgrace to her family due to her poetry, which described the oppression of Afghan woman. A selection from one of Nadia Anjuman's poems is as follows: I am caged in this corner / full of melancholy and sorrow... my wings are closed and I cannot fly... I am an Afghan woman and I must wail". During the Taliban regime, Anjuman and other female writers of the Heret literary circle would study banned writers such as William Shakespeare and Fyodor Dostoevsky. Had they been caught, they risked being hanged.
Anjuman was survived by a six-month-old daughter.
- Afghan poet dies after battering (BBC News report)
- Afghan woman poet beaten to death (Middle East Times report)
- Read more about Nadia Anjuman, including her poetry, at UniVerse of Poetry, which was founded after Nadia Anjuman was killed after publishing her book.
- A page with a wealth of information about Nadia Anjuman, including her picture (The HyperTexts)
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