One Big Thing: Are you concerned about the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan?
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Last week, the Taliban violently overthrew the Afghan government following President Joe Biden’s decision to end American involvement in Afghanistan. Across the country and in the capital of Kabul, elected officials and military personnel surrendered power to Taliban leaders. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has been forced into exile and fled the country on Sunday without communicating to other political leaders who had been negotiating a peaceful transition of power.
For months, senior government officials and experts have warned that a sudden end to American involvement in Afghanistan could lead to this very situation. Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who Trump fired in part due to his opposition to a hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan, recommended the administration suspend its departure until the Taliban started meeting the conditions of the peace deal.
Historically, the Taliban has an atrocious human rights record, especially against the rights of women and girls. The terrorist group supports wide spread gender-based discrimination and violence, where the rights of women and girls are violated with impunity and violent “punishments” were meted out for perceived transgressions of the armed group’s interpretation of Islamic law. Other attacks by the Taliban deliberately target civilians and civilian objects in violation of international humanitarian law, including terror attacks on a maternity hospital and educational institutions. Additionally, Afghan asylum-seekers continued to be forcibly returned to Afghanistan, particularly from Iran where some had been attacked by the Iranian security forces.
Keep up with events in Afghanistan HERE
Learn more about the Taliban’s human rights record HERE
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