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Daily Evacuation Brief | February 14, 2022
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LAST 24 HOURS
Four detained women’s activists freed.
Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban’s envoy to the UN, stated no women would serve in the cabinet but women’s rights were important.
Reports began coming in about a potential effort to target Panjshiris in Kabul. The road to Panjshir may be blocked. Currently, there has been no confirmation of these claims.
NEXT 24 HOURS
Talks are scheduled to begin in Doha between the Taliban Foreign Minister and select delegates from the International Community. The crux of the discussions are expected to concern humanitarian aid.
An additional three female activists who were jailed recently for protesting the Taliban regime are expected to be released in Kabul.
HOW SOCIAL MEDIA MAY BE MODIFYING THE TALIBAN’S BEHAVIOR
CONTEXT: Technology has progressed at an incredible rate since the Taliban were last in power. During their previous tenure, any atrocity committed needed a journalist for documentation due to dramatically restricted internet, TV, and radio access. Since so few journalists were able to get into the country, it was difficult to capture the scale of events. It was even more difficult to get a story out and the lag in reporting often lessened the consequences.
The Taliban 2.0 must contend with almost instantaneous coverage from citizens, which means the Taliban can find themselves on people’s screens within hours of a murder or arrest. They now find themselves facing a barrage of questions and accusations about such events, sometimes before they have been informed of them. Not only are the questions pointed and accurate, but there is also often proof in the form of video, photos, and/or audio.
The power of social media has already been made clear. The UN and many governments negotiating with the Taliban mine online information about their activities, which is then weaponized for use in negotiations. Furthermore, a number of female activists were recently released from detention after an outcry from the international community that was started online and continually ‘re-tweeted’ seemed to be too much embarrassment for the regime to bear. During their previous stint in power, it would have been unthinkable for them to cave into a few sparse calls to respect human rights.
Social media’s impact is not passively being taken in stride. Sources from within the Taliban have expressed their frustration with the ‘old guard’ who do not understand the impact technology now has on autocratic regimes. Reportedly, there are discussions to pull the plug on internet and cell service within the country. These arguments are said to be drawn along generational lines between the older generation, who fear the impact of internet access and urge a crackdown, and the younger members, who fear a nationwide revolt if crackdowns occur. The younger Taliban are conscientious of how a crackdown will appear to the international community as they seek legitimacy, but they’ve also grown up with unfettered internet access and have seen that it can be an effective tool to spread their message.
ANALYSIS: It is quite possible that the regime will attempt to ‘shut the internet down’ at some point in the coming months. The ensuing chaos (economic, security, societal, etc.) could spell their doom.
However, a more nuanced crackdown is just as likely. The Taliban will continue to ask for help in curtailing online freedoms from developed states who have the experience and technical skill to monitor and police a national network. The obvious candidates for this kind of assistance are China and Iran.
With regard to international scrutiny, it is unlikely the luddites among the Taliban leadership will evolve quickly enough to get ahead of problematic abuses of human rights and will continue to be caught off guard in bargaining sessions.
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 92.06 AFN (as of 14 FEB 2022)
By Al Jazeera
Four women activists in Afghanistan have been released by the country’s “de facto authorities” after going missing weeks ago…
By TOLO News
he Ministry of Interior (MoI) formed a new Special Forces unit of 200 soldiers who will use modern weapons and military equipment…
By Bakhtar News Agency
Herat police have found a hideout of counterfeiters who used their devices to produce fake Afghan passports and visas from…
By Ariana News
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) officials said this weekend they are committed to abiding by the 1973 Afghanistan-Iran Water Treaty which
By IFP Editorial Staff – Iran Front Page
“Afghans released part of Hirmand’s water, but unfortunately, it was again diverted through a stream called Lashkari and is heading back to Afghanistan,” the department’s…
By Ariana News
Afghanistan’s Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi left Kabul for Qatar on Sunday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said…
International News Relating to Afghanistan
By Sarah Rahal – Stars and Stripes
Some of Michigan’s nonprofit agencies and community organizers, in a first of its kind attempt as a grassroots- effort, are…
By Kathy Gannon – Associated Press
Afghanistan's former president on Sunday called a White House order to unfreeze $3.5 billion in Afghan assets held in the U.S. for families of 9/11 victims an atrocity against…
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