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Three journalists allegedly beaten by Taliban 

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(Last Updated On: August 18, 2021)

An Ariana News journalist, a Pajhwok Afghan News photographer and a reporter for Khorshid TV were allegedly assaulted by Taliban members on Wednesday. 

The Ariana News reporter, Mahmoud Naimi, and Pajhwok photographer, Babrak Aminzadah, were both allegedly beaten while covering a demonstration in Nangarhar, while the Khorshid TV journalist, Nawid Ahmad Kawesh, was allegedly beaten at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on Wednesday. 

Nai-Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan says that Naimi, and Aminzadah, were beaten on Wednesday morning while covering a protest march in Jalalabad.

At the same time, the Afghan Independent Journalists Association reported that Nawid Ahmad Kawesh, a Khorshid TV reporter, had been beaten while trying to interview a Taliban member in front of Kabul Airport.

Meanwhile, Ahmadullah Wasiq, deputy head of the Taliban’s cultural commission, confirmed that they had received reports of ill-treatment and threats against journalists in Kabul and Nangarhar. He said they are investigating the claims. 

Wasiq however assured the media that they would take action against the Taliban members who threatened these journalists.

This comes after Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujaheed addressed his first ever press conference on Tuesday night and assured the media that the Taliban’s interaction with the media will be based on principles.

“Once again we want to assure all media that our interaction with all media will be based on principles.” He said: “We want all private media to be free and independent and to continue their impartial coverage. We also have three requests from the media and we hope they will agree with us.”

He further said: “First: All publications must be in accordance with Islamic values and principles and can be published in accordance with Islamic principles and values and operate and publish freely.

“Second, the media must be neutral in matters. We want the media to have healthy criticism of us so that the future administration realizes its shortcomings and with your cooperation [media] we will understand the shortcomings and will be able to provide better services to society.

“Third: Publications should not be against our national values, such as inciting ethnic prejudices, inciting ethnic or religious issues, because this is not in the interests of our society.”

Meanwhile, at least three people were killed and several more injured in Jalalabad, after gunshots were fired at a protest against the use of the Taliban flag on Wednesday. 

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UN emphasizes the importance of aid for Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: January 28, 2023)

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says that the distribution of cash aid to the needy is very important during this year’s extremely harsh winter.

The spokesperson of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Afghanistan Caroline Gluck says that in this cold winter, it is very important to distribute cash aid to the needy in Afghanistan.

Gluck, who visited Bamyan province recently, says that Afghanistan has faced one of the worst winters in many years and the needs of the people are very high.

She said the distribution of cash will help people sort out their needs during the cold weather.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that in 2023, the number of people in need in Afghanistan will reach more than 28 million.

Weather reports have put the minimum temperatures in a number of provinces across the country over the past three weeks at between minus 16 degrees Celsius and minus 30 degrees Celsius.

This record-cold winter has left well over 150 people and an estimated 200,000 livestock dead this month.

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UN deputy chief hopeful the IEA will lift restrictions on women

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(Last Updated On: January 28, 2023)

Amina Mohammad, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, has said that after meeting with some Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) officials she is hopeful that authorities could ease restrictions on women and girls.

In an interview with CNN, Mohammad, who visited Afghanistan earlier this month, was asked if she had any hope about IEA lifting restrictions on women and girls.

She replied: “Yes, I do. It was tough going in. But I feel now it is doable, looking at all the players and seeing some fissures within the Taliban (IEA), I think this is possible. We also had a few exceptions since then. So, yes there is hope.”

Amina said that there are differences of opinions within IEA in terms of carrying of edicts coming from Kandahar.

“I don’t think there is any change from their consolidation around that power base, but there is, in terms of carrying out some of these edicts, differences of opinions,” she said.

“I think in our visit, the recognition mattered. It was very clear that the humanitarian response that the international community was giving was really important. So we have some leverage and I think that is what we are trying to see, what is state of play in reality on ground,” Amina said.

Sima Bahous, the executive director of UN Women, said that when she asked IEA officials about the “further notice” in their decrees, they replied: “We need to build infrastructure, we need to build schools, we need to train the teachers, we need to change the curriculum for it to become less Western or actually not Western at all but Islamic and according to Sharia of what they believe they should learn.

“They believe women should only learn certain things about the Sharia and how to serve their husbands, families and their little community where they live,” she said.

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IEA welcomes World Bank report, urges resumption of incomplete projects

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(Last Updated On: January 28, 2023)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) on Saturday welcomed the World Bank’s report issued this week and in turn called on the institution to resume incomplete projects that it had been working on in the country prior to the collapse of the former government.

The Office of Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs said in a statement that it welcomes all the “positive points based on objective facts” in the report, which was a clear indication of Afghanistan’s actual economic development and mobility.

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan believes that if the current restrictions on Afghanistan’s banking sector are lifted and the frozen assets are released, the economic situation of the country will take faster steps towards improvement and stability, and the burden on the international community will be lessened,” the statement read.

Earlier this week the World Bank reported that the price of food and fuel in Afghanistan has decreased, the value of the Afghan currency has remained stable against foreign currencies, there has been a significant increase in exports, and the salaries of government employees have been paid on time. In addition, the report noted that national revenues had also increased.

The IEA also called on all international organizations to raise awareness of the real situation in Afghanistan by pointing out the advancements made in Afghanistan, particularly in the economic sphere.

The statement called on international aid agencies and organizations to finance development initiatives in Afghanistan that will lower unemployment and improve the country’s economic situation.

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