Wednesday, February 28

Afghanistan

Taliban No Longer Let Afghan Women Fly Alone
Afghanistan, News

Taliban No Longer Let Afghan Women Fly Alone

Afghan women are only allowed to board a plane if a male relative accompanies them. However, the Taliban government has instructed airlines in the country to do so.   The measure applies to domestic and foreign flights, but it is unclear whether it also affects foreign women. The Islamic fundamentalists had already decided over the weekend that men and women are not allowed to visit parks in the capital Kabul on the same day. On Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays, they are only open to women and men for the rest of the week. Also, local stations are no longer allowed to broadcast BBC news bulletins in local languages. The rights of women and girls have been drastically stripped since the Taliban took power last August. They had promised a more lenient policy than during their previous...
Taliban Leader: Respect Amnesty for Fallen Government Employees
Afghanistan, News

Taliban Leader: Respect Amnesty for Fallen Government Employees

The spiritual leader of the Taliban, Hibatullah Akhundzada, asks his followers to respect the amnesty for the deposed Afghan government employees. A few days ago, images emerged on social media of a Taliban fighter beating a former army commander.   After taking power in August, the Taliban promised amnesty for former members of the Afghan security forces and former government employees. Leader Akhundzada now asks his followers to keep that promise and "not to punish" former government employees through his spokesperson. The Taliban have also promised to deal with the fighter in the video released. Since the takeover, videos have surfaced that allegedly show how Taliban fighters mistreat people. The United Nations and human rights organizations, among others, accused the Taliban of...
Taliban Ban Films and Series With Women
Afghanistan, News

Taliban Ban Films and Series With Women

In Afghanistan, the Taliban has imposed far-reaching restrictions on the content of television broadcasts.   For example, television stations are no longer allowed to broadcast films or series in which women appear or in which Islamic Sharia or Afghan values are violated. This is apparent from a directive from the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. The broadcast of domestic or foreign films that spread foreign cultures and traditions in Afghan society and cause immorality must be stopped, the directive said. In addition, no one should be insulted in entertainment programs. Female presenters and reporters are still allowed to perform, but they must wear Islamic jihad. In Afghanistan, Turkish, Indian and Iranian soap operas are especially popular. Amer...
Dead and Injured in Attack on Military Hospital in Kabul
Afghanistan, News

Dead and Injured in Attack on Military Hospital in Kabul

At least 15 people were killed and 34 injured in an attack on the largest military hospital in the Afghan capital, Kabul. Two explosions took place, after which unknown persons also fired shots.   The Taliban confirmed that there were explosions at the entrance of the 400-bed hospital. However, a source within that group released figures on the casualties after an official spokesperson announced that there had been no further details about the deaths. Taliban special forces have been sent to the hospital. A doctor in the building has told the AFP news agency that shots are being fired in the hospital. "I think the attackers are moving from room to room, just like the first time it was attacked," the doctor said. The hospital was attacked in 2017 by gunmen dressed as medical person...
EU to Earmark Another 700 Million for Aid to Afghanistan
Afghanistan, Europe, News

EU to Earmark Another 700 Million for Aid to Afghanistan

The European Union is earmarking another EUR 700 million for aid to Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries. After the takeover by the Taliban, the economy is on the brink of collapse, and winter is approaching.   Brussels notes that the 300 million that the EU already made available for humanitarian emergency aid is not enough. But development aid has been frozen since the departure of US troops and their allies and the fall of the pro-Western government. To help the Afghans anyway, the EU is contributing at least 250 million for health care, among other things. That money does not go to the Taliban regime but must reach ordinary Afghan people through aid organizations, the European Commission underlines. Another million will benefit neighbouring countries that have received A...
Protests in Afghanistan Continue Despite Intimidation
Afghanistan, News

Protests in Afghanistan Continue Despite Intimidation

Afghans lined the streets for the third day on Wednesday, despite Taliban efforts to intimidate opponents. Images on social media show women demonstrating in the capital Kabul against the composition of the new government.   Protesters chant slogans like "a cabinet without women fails". They also brought signs with inscriptions such as "work, education and freedom". However, the safety of protesters is not guaranteed. The Taliban have cracked down on protests in recent days. The fundamentalists seized power in Afghanistan last month and presented their new government this week. It has no female ministers. Also, no members of the Hazara minority, Afghanistan's third population group, have been appointed to important positions. The Taliban held a reign of terror in the 1990s but are...
Taliban Mainly Focus on Cooperation with China
Afghanistan, China, News

Taliban Mainly Focus on Cooperation with China

The Taliban believe they will be able to cooperate closely with China economically after the departure of foreign troops from Afghanistan.   "China is our most important partner," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Italian newspaper La Repubblica. "It is ready to invest and rebuild our country." The Taliban's Muslim extremists have conquered virtually all of Afghanistan in recent months and must now decide how to run the country. The previous government received support from the West, but Western countries have now essentially turned off the money tap. According to insiders, the Taliban will present a government on Friday, expect to be able to do business with China. Mujahid said his country's copper mines could be upgraded with Chinese help. "Through China, we gain access ...
Taliban Form Government and Hope to Get Country Going Again
Afghanistan, News

Taliban Form Government and Hope to Get Country Going Again

Now that the Taliban say they have finally made Afghanistan independent, they are putting forward a government. The government and the economy have been shut down for half a month, and the country lives in fear of the new rulers.   There is hunger, among other things, due to the devaluation of money and the loss of supplies of basic necessities. Prices of many commodities have risen more than 50 percent in two weeks, such as cooking oil, wheat and rice. Due to the collapse of President Ghani's pro-Western government, many Afghans have no income at all. According to Pakistani authorities, 3 million Afghans have already fled to Pakistan. As a result, there is a threat of famine, especially in cities. The Taliban have previously announced that they would not form a government until a...
IS Claims Rocket Attacks at Kabul Airport, US Military Investigates
Afghanistan, News, US

IS Claims Rocket Attacks at Kabul Airport, US Military Investigates

There is again unrest around the international airport of Kabul, in Afghanistan. Several rockets were fired at the airport early this morning. IS has since claimed those attacks. The missiles could be intercepted, the US military said.   Meanwhile, the Americans continue with the final evacuations. Likely, civilian casualties were also killed in an American attack on IS yesterday. The US military is investigating the matter. Early this morning, several rocket attacks have been perpetrated on Kabul airport - or its environs. IS-K, the Afghan branch of the terrorist group IS, has claimed it. IS-K said six missiles were fired. IS-K was responsible for the attack at the airport last week that killed nearly 200 people, including 13 American servicemen. The US military previously spoke ...
US: Roughly 105,000 People Evacuated from Afghanistan
Afghanistan, News, US

US: Roughly 105,000 People Evacuated from Afghanistan

With the evacuation of another 12,500 people on Thursday, the number of evacuees from Afghanistan has risen to roughly 105,000, the White House reports. The last people are currently being removed before foreign troops leave the country by August 31.   Countries have been taking their citizens home since August 14, the day before the Taliban took over Kabul. They also collect Afghans en masse who have worked with them in recent years or are at risk because they work with foreign organizations or in journalism. The United States controls Kabul International Airport and Afghan airspace. The US Department of Defense said on Thursday that evacuations could still take place over the weekend, but several countries have already stopped evacuating. This is partly due to the increasingly da...