HRW: Taliban severely restrict media
Taliban authorities in Afghanistan have imposed wide-ranging restrictions on media and free speech that are already stifling criticism and dissent, Human Rights Watch said on Friday.
During a late September meeting with journalists in Kabul, the Taliban Ministry of Information and Culture distributed media regulations whose provisions are so broad and vague as to prohibit virtually any critical reporting about the Taliban, Human Rights Watch’s official website reported.
“Despite the Taliban’s promises to allow media that ‘respected Islamic values’ to function, the new rules are suffocating media freedom in the country,” said Patricia Gossman, associate Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The Taliban regulations are so sweeping that journalists are self-censoring and fear ending up in prison.”
Russia urges calm between Tajikistan, Afghanistan
Russia urged Tajikistan and Afghanistan to resolve any dispute in a mutually acceptable manner, saying it had heard reports they were sending troops to their common border, TASS quoted the Foreign Ministry in Moscow as saying on Thursday.
Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon has refused to recognise the Taliban-appointed cabinet in Kabul and has lashed out at violations of human rights in the Taliban's siege of the Panjshir Province where opposition forces held rallies, Reuters reported.
The Taliban, in turn, has warned Dushanbe against meddling in Afghanistan's domestic affairs. Ethnic Tajiks make up more than a quarter of Afghanistan's population, but Taliban members predominantly belong to the biggest ethnic group, Pashtuns.
Qatar calls Taliban moves on girls education ‘very disappointing’
Qatar’s top diplomat said on Thursday the Taliban’s moves on girls’ education in Afghanistan are “very disappointing” and “a step backwards”, and called on the group’s leadership to look to Doha for how to run an Islamic system.
Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani was referring to, among other things, the Taliban’s refusal to allow Afghan female secondary school students to resume their studies, weeks after the group took power.
“The recent actions that we have seen unfortunately in Afghanistan, it has been very disappointing to see some steps being taken backwards,” he said.
From Taliban to Ronaldo's land, Afghan women footballers train again
Forced to flee Afghanistan by the Taliban takeover, members of the Afghan women's youth football team and their families have sought refuge in Portugal and are back training in the Lisbon suburbs.
The relief at having found a safe haven after arriving on September 19 shows in their faces as well as joy at being in a country whose most famous son these days is a footballer, AFP reported.
The team is being housed temporarily in hotels in the Lisbon suburbs after finally fleeing Afghanistan following several failed attempts since mid-August.