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One week in Afghanistan

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The Taliban has taken control of Afghanistan again. Here’s everything that happened this week

Taliban has moved swiftly to increase their rule across the region – the military group has clashed with protestors who are fighting back against the regime.

This comes as thousands of Afghan residents and foreign nationals rush to Kabul’s main airport in a desperate bid to escape the country before it’s too late.

As of Friday, the US military has so far evacuated around 7,000 people from Afghanistan after taking control of the airport earlier in the week.

It appears that the Taliban is cooperating with the evacuation efforts but there are fears that this could change very quickly.

Did this all begin with the US withdrawal of troops?

Joe Biden “stands squarely behind” the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan as the US military secures the Afghan capital’s airport in Kabul.

US President Joe Biden “stands squarely behind” the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan as the US military secures the Afghan capital’s airport in Kabul

Biden says his country’s military presence will be swift and the response will be forceful if the Taliban attacks troops as evacuations continue.

The US has spent trillions of dollars over twenty years in Afghanistan and lost more than 2,000 military personnel, making the decision to withdraw largely popular among citizens.

US President Joe Biden “stands squarely behind” the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan as the US military secures the Afghan capital’s airport in Kabul

US President Joe Biden spoke publicly about the situation just hours ago, for the first time since the Taliban took control of Kabul.

Biden says his country’s military presence will be swift and the response will be forceful if the Taliban attacks troops as evacuations continue.

This comes as the President admits that although the collapse of Afghanistan to the Taliban was quicker than anticipated and he stands by his decision and will not repeat mistakes of past leaders.

The US has spent trillions of dollars over twenty years in Afghanistan and lost more than 2,000 military personnel, making the decision to withdraw largely popular among citizens

However, there has been growing criticism on the decision to leave as swiftly as has occurred, with many saying it has undone years of work by American forces to bring the territory back under control. 

He says that not a single further American soldier should lose their life in this battle.

What are people doing?

We’re also hearing reports that the Taliban is forcing Afghan residents to stay inside and the militant group is moving to enforce a curfew for “an indefinite time”.

This comes as residents line the streets in several cities to protest the Taliban’s regime and call for a return to a democratic government.

In a protest led by women, Afghans are seen carrying their national flag and chanting “LONG LIVE AFGHANISTAN”:

All kinds of movement will now be banned by the Taliban in the wake of these protests.

This clampdown follows a United Nations briefing that found that the Taliban is stepping up the search for “collaborators”.

Meanwhile, the G7 foreign ministers have called on the militant group to continue to honour their commitment to allowing safe passage out of the country.

In a statement, the UK’s Dominic Raab says “the ministers are deeply concerned by reports of violent reprisals in parts of Afghanistan”.

What about social media?

FILE PHOTO: Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s deputy leader and negotiator, and other delegation members attend the Afghan peace conference in Moscow, Russia March 18, 2021. Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

The social media giants are stepping up their protection efforts of users in Afghanistan

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have confirmed they had moved to secure the accounts of Afghan citizens to protect them against being targeted amid the Taliban’s swift takeover of the country.

Head of security policy at Facebook, Nathaniel Gleicher stated in a tweet that Facebook has temporarily removed the ability for people to view or search the friends lists of accounts in Afghanistan.

Gleicher also stated that the company had launched a “one-click tool” for users in Afghanistan to lock down their accounts, so people who are not their Facebook friends would be unable to see their timeline posts or share their profile photos.

The Taliban has slammed social media giant Facebook over protections on freedom of speech

The militant group has taken aim at the tech giant for curbing freedom of speech in Afghanistan following a ban on its content, as a result of the crackdown by the US firm.

Reports claim that while answering a question on freedom of speech at a virtual press conference, Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen stated that, “The question should be asked to those people who are claiming to be promoters of freedom of speech who do not allow publication of all information.. the Facebook company, this question should be asked to them.”

On Monday, Facebook confirmed that under the obligation of US law, it was bound to ban the outfit’s content from its social media platforms, including WhatsApp, as the Taliban are designated a terrorist group.

Catch up with every story from this week – https://tickernews.co/tag/afghanistan/

World

Russia will formally annex Ukraine regions Friday

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Russia will formally annex four more areas of Ukraine on Friday, after self-styled referendums in those regions yielded overwhelming support for the move.

The Russian-backed officials who organized the votes said that nearly all of those who cast ballots supported the annexation. The referendums were held in Luhansk and Donetsk in the east, and in Zaporizhzhia and Kherson in the south.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to make a major speech at the Kremlin following the signing ceremony. Ukraine and the West have condemned the referendums as a sham, but Russia has long claimed that the people of those regions want to be part of the Russian Federation.

The annexations are likely to further escalate the tensions between Russia and the West, which have been at loggerheads over Ukraine since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. Friday’s move is sure to be met with condemnation from the international community.

Russia has long claimed that the people of those regions want to be part of the Russian Federation. The annexations are likely to further escalate the tensions between Russia and the West, which have been at loggerheads over Ukraine since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. Friday’s move is sure to be met with condemnation from the international community.

 

“These are the guys?” Putin’s Dad’s army – READ HERE

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Chinese leader Xi Jinping makes his return to the public eye

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Chinese leader Xi Jinping has made his public appearance since returning to China

The President recently left his country for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

He quashed rumours of a coup, which sent shockwaves through social media ahead of an important Communist Party meeting.

On Tuesday, he visited an exhibition showing of China’s achievements during his time in power.

Of course, this comes as tensions continue to simmer in the Taiwan Straits.

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Ticker Views

IRAN PROTESTS | Are countries using religion as an excuse to violate basic human rights?

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Iran protests are engulfing the country as thousands take to the streets in a revolution against oppression

IRAN PROTESTS – The story of Iran is one of a country that has been through a lot in recent history.

An uprising of both men and women has engulfed Iran, following the death of Mahsa Amini. Women are cutting their hair and burning their hijabs, demanding some form of change to the strict rules that impact their ultimate freedom.

From the Iranian Revolution in 1979 to the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, the nation’s residents have witnessed their fair share of turmoil.

Many insist that religion, like Islam, is being used as a reason to violate basic human rights in Iran.

“It’s a totalitarian regime… Islam is being used to deny freedom of speech, freedom of education, freedom of movement.”

Mariam Memarsadeghi
Cyrus Forum and Senior Fellow at Macdonald-Laurier Institute

There is a feeling of discontent among the Iranian people. The economy is struggling, and many young Iranians feel they have no future.

They are fed up with the corruption of the government and the lack of opportunity.

Mahsa Amini’s brutal death

On top of this is the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman.

Amini was arrested by the so-called morality police for “improperly” wearing her mandatory hijab.

Reports suggest she was beaten so severely that she went into a coma.

Mahsa Amini protests in Iran

Three days later, she died, and many suspect it was a direct result of this police brutality.

Amini’s death has fuelled further anger and extreme protest, with widespread condemnation from Iranians, denouncing her death and the regime that caused it.

“There were 10-11 blows to her head… She was beaten while still in the van…When her body was delivered to the family they saw bruises to her neck and head.”

Mariam Memarsadeghi
Cyrus Forum and Senior Fellow at Macdonald-Laurier Institute

The incident has brought attention to the plight of many Iranians who feel they are living under an oppressive regime.

While it is difficult to predict what will happen next in Iran, many hope the death of Amani will not be in vain.

Many pray the protests will lead to real action and a country where women are treated as equals. They want a country where there is opportunity for all.

Women in Iran and around the world are now lifting the veil on Iran’s corruption and human rights violations.

In 2022, many are angry that men are controlling what women do with their bodies and what they wear.

However, the Founder and Director of Cyrus Forum and Senior Fellow at Macdonald-Laurier Institute Mariam Memarsadeghi explained its women who are enforcing the strict rules too.

“It’s actually women also who are policing other women to wear hijab… It’s a very Handmaids Tale situation.”

Mariam Memarsadeghi
Cyrus Forum and Senior Fellow at Macdonald-Laurier Institute

Will this drive change?

In Iran, many young Iranians are showing the world they don’t want this system any more, that they want democracy.

They’re cutting their hair and burning their hijabs, they’re putting their own safety on the line to take a stand against the regime that has silenced them for so long.

This generation is very different, but it doesn’t guarantee that this uprising will fuel any real change.

However, Memarsadeghi said “there is no way back from here.”

“It’s very dangerous, there is a tremendous amount of respect for the men and women on the streets because each and every single one of them risks being beaten, killed, tortured, maybe even executed.”

Mariam Memarsadeghi
Cyrus Forum and Senior Fellow at Macdonald-Laurier Institute

How can organisations and world leaders help?

Iran is in the midst of a political upheaval and the world is watching.

Scenes of protest and violence are being shared far and wide on social media. The world has a front-row seat to the unfolding crisis.

However, the Iranian Government has responded by imposing a sweeping internet ban, cutting off the protesters from the outside world.

This only adds to the urgency of the situation, as Iran’s people are now risking their lives to speak out against their oppression.

World leaders and democracy advocacy groups are already discussing ways to help the people of Iran and hold their violations to account.

“The solidarity and attention from celebrities, athletes and world leaders has been extremely helpful… The future of freedom is what these men and women in Iran are doing.”

Mariam Memarsadeghi
Cyrus Forum and Senior Fellow at Macdonald-Laurier Institute

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