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Afghanistan Business Flights Resume as U.N. Accuses Taliban of Harassment

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The primary worldwide business flight beneath Afghanistan‘s new Taliban interim authorities departed Kabul on Thursday carrying greater than 100 foreigners, together with some U.S. residents left behind after final month’s chaotic Western airlift.

The flight marked an essential step within the Taliban’s efforts to create a functioning state after they seized energy final month, though there have been rising stories of violence in opposition to girls, foreigners and journalists by the hands of the Islamists.

U.N. Particular Envoy on Afghanistan Deborah Lyons informed the Safety Council that nongovernmental organisations supporting girls had been being focused, girls’s freedoms had been restricted and the United Nations’ Afghan employees had been being harassed and intimidated https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/un-says-afghan-staff-increasingly-harassed-intimidated-since-taliban-takeover-2021-09-09.

“The U.N. can’t conduct its work – work that’s so important to the Afghan folks – if its personnel are subjected to intimidation, worry for his or her lives, and can’t transfer freely,” Lyons informed the Safety Council.

An inner U.N. safety doc seen by Reuters on Aug. 25 described dozens of incidents together with veiled threats, the looting of U.N. places of work and bodily abuse of employees since Aug. 10, 5 days earlier than the Taliban swept to energy.

Senior U.S. diplomat Jeffrey DeLaurentis informed the Safety Council the USA was “outraged at stories that members of the Taliban have engaged in reprisals in opposition to U.N. employees all through the nation. That is merely unacceptable.”

The harassment of U.N employees got here because the nation was in peril of “a complete breakdown of the economic system and social order” with out an infusion of cash, Lyons stated.

She additionally stated there have been rising stories of the Taliban imposing curbs on girls much like these after they dominated from 1996 to 2001, regardless of a promise by leaders to respect girls’s rights in accordance with sharia, or Islamic regulation.

About 113 folks had been aboard the flight from Kabul to Doha operated by state-owned Qatar Airways, officers stated. The passengers included U.S., Canadian, Ukrainian, German and British residents, a supply with data of the matter stated.

Ten U.S. residents and 11 everlasting residents had been on the flight, U.S. State Division spokesperson Ned Value stated on Twitter, out of “the 39 we invited.”

Qatar and Turkey have helped the Taliban reopen the airport and a supply stated the passengers had been transported in a Qatari convoy after protected passage was agreed with the Taliban. In Doha, they may initially keep in a compound internet hosting Afghan and different evacuees.

Worldwide flights have flown out and in with officers, technicians and assist in latest days, however this was the primary such civilian flight for the reason that hectic evacuation of 124,000 foreigners and at-risk Afghans that adopted the collapse of the U.S.-backed authorities.

“Hopefully, life is turning into regular in Afghanistan,” Qatari particular envoy Mutlaq bin Majed al-Qahtani stated from the tarmac, quoted by Al Jazeera.

There would even be a flight on Friday, he stated.

‘SEVERE DOWNTURN’

The departure of foreigners from Kabul airport will imply little to Afghans nonetheless barred from leaving the nation and fearful for the long run beneath the Taliban’s radical interpretation of Islamic regulation.

The earlier Taliban authorities was ousted by a U.S.-led invasion following the Sept. 11, 2001, assaults on the USA masterminded by al Qaeda leaders primarily based in Afghanistan.

The Taliban’s all-male interim authorities introduced this week contains hardline members of that administration in addition to militants needed in the USA on terrorism prices, elevating doubts it’s going to obtain recognition by the West.

The US and its allies view Afghan property abroad as a key lever to stress the Taliban. U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has no plans to launch billions in Afghan gold, investments and overseas foreign money reserves that it has frozen.

The United Nations warned that the freezing abroad of some $10 billion in Afghan property – to maintain it out of Taliban arms – would trigger “a extreme financial downturn” and will push thousands and thousands extra Afghans into poverty and starvation.

“The economic system have to be allowed to breathe for a couple of extra months, giving the Taliban an opportunity to exhibit flexibility and a real will to do issues in another way this time, notably from a human rights, gender and counterterrorism perspective,” Lyons informed the Safety Council.

A newspaper editor stated two of his journalists had been crushed in police custody this week after protecting the ladies’s protest in Kabul the place they had been detained by the Taliban.

Zaki Daryabi, founder and editor-in-chief of the Etilaat Roz newspaper, shared pictures on social media of two male reporters, one with massive, purple welts throughout his decrease again and legs and the opposite with related marks on his shoulder and arm.

Each males’s faces had been additionally bruised and reduce within the footage, which had been verified by Reuters.

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