Daily Evacuation Brief | July 20, 2023
LAST 24 HOURS
WOMEN PROTESTING SALON CLOSURES VIOLENTLY DISPERSED – A planned protest that involved dozens of women took place in Kabul yesterday when women came out to condemn the closures of beauty salons. Taliban security forces reportedly broke the protest up using water cannons, tasers, tear gas, and there were scattered reports that some women were beaten. Many demonstrators had their cell phones taken and said they were chased through the streets by Taliban members.
FORMER AFGHAN MP, RAMAZAN BASHARDOST, REPORTEDLY ARRESTED – Several reports have come in concerning the possible arrest of former MP Dr. Ramazan Bashardost. Dr. Bashardost, who was also a former Minister of Planning and an Afghan presidential candidate may have been tortured shortly after being picked up by GDI Agents. His current whereabouts are unknown and many in the Hazara community are concerned that he is still being interrogated by the Taliban.
TALIBAN CONFIRMS DECISION TO PROHIBIT WOMEN FROM TAKING UNIVERSITY ENTRANCE EXAM – Some rumors had been swirling for months that women might finally be allowed to take the Kankor entrance exams. Many had high hopes they would be allowed to sit for the exam after receiving invitations to apply earlier in the year. However, in a letter signed by the Minister of Higher Education, those hopes were dashed and no women will be allowed to take the exam in 2023.
ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE IN AFGHANISTAN HAS BEEN ABOLISHED – The Taliban announced it would dissolve the Attorney’s General office and a new institution called the Directorate of Supervision and Prosecution of Decrees and Orders will take its place. While the Taliban have framed the move as a ‘streamlining’ method, many point to the title as confirmation that the Supreme Leader wants a loyal department to enforce his proclamations and edicts. There are concerns the new directorate will not be able to carry out civil cases and will instead rely on vague Sharia precepts to make rulings.
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION WARNS THAT CRIMEAN-CONGO FEVER CASES CONTINUED TO RISE IN JUNE – Of major concern in the most recent statistics is the spread of the disease from 3 Provinces to 13 currently. Outside medical professionals feel the cases are being underrepresented because the WHO has been unable to conduct testing under the bans on female employment it must contend with.
AFGHAN PASSPORT REMAINS THE WEAKEST IN THE WORLD FOR 2023 – Afghanistan has ranked dead last in the Henley Passport Index for the last fourteen years and it is currently unclear how many foreign governments recognize the passport for travel due to the Taliban’s lack of recognition as the legitimate government.
NEXT 24 HOURS
AS MUHARRAM BEGINS, SECURITY A CONCERN – While the Taliban say they have rid the country of ISIS-K, there is clearly a presence that remains active. In addition, the Taliban have traditionally been ill-disposed to the Muharram period of mourning and there are reports that security personnel have removed Muharram banners and flags from shops and have accosted those observing the period. As ISIS-K has not conducted a major operation for some weeks, there is consensus among the observer community that the risk of a major attack has risen significantly.
A recent report from the US intelligence community that said Iran was not developing nuclear weapons has come under fire from some experts who say the report uses a flawed definition and says the European reports are more accurate.
Protests against a new round of enforcement by Iran’s morality police continued to spread as women in cities across the country are being stopped and questioned more frequently.
The regime announced its foreign debt had decreased by 27% over the previous calendar year and currently stands at $6.28 billion. Skeptics say the figures are not based in reality.
Former Prime Minister Imran Khan apologized for threatening a female judge shortly after he was ousted. In a speech in April 2023, he told his supporters that police leaders and the judge would not be ‘spared’.
Flooding has claimed the lives of 12 people so far in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. More rain is forecasted for the next 36-48 hours.
The Interior Minister announced that former PM Khan would go before a special court to face charges in the Cypher Conspiracy case. The case involves a purported US diplomatic message that Khan waved in front of supporters in March 2022 and said was evidence of an ‘international conspiracy’ against him.
By Adam Weinstein - Foreign Policy
Nearly two years since the United States withdrew from Afghanistan, the Taliban are still firmly in charge. Despite initial predictions of a civil war, there is no substantial resistance challenging their power, although the nation grapples with an ongoing humanitarian crisis. Its fledgling aid-dependent economy has severely contracted but not yet imploded, and while food inflation is declining, it remains a slow-moving trainwreck with no apparent long-term solutions in sight. While terrorism remains a concern, Afghanistan is not quite the epicenter of transnational jihadists it once was.
By Al Jazeera
Security forces in Kabul have dispersed a demonstration by dozens of women protesting against a Taliban order to shut down beauty parlours, the latest curb to…
Several public university professors have complained that Taliban members and those around them have started taking some of the top positions at…
By Abdul Raqeeb Sail - Pajhwok Afghan News
The Ministry of Vice and Virtue says it officials burned down musical instruments they had collected in Kabul and other provinces during the…
By EurAsia Review
There is a growing consensus that the “green transition” or “clean energy transition” to low-carbon technologies will require a range of…
By Qura tul ain Hafeez - EurAsia Review
With millions more internally displaced as well as an estimated 2.3 million residing in neighboring Pakistan and Iran, Afghan refugees are among the…
INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELATING TO AFGHANISTAN
By Banafsha Binesh - TOLO News
The Swedish Committee for Afghanistan in a statement said that some of its activities for Afghanistan have been paused, due to the Islamic Emirate suspending all…
By Jane Merrick & Nick Duffy - I News UK
Tobias Ellwood, the chair of Parliament’s Defence Select Committee, has apologised for a video in which he claimed Afghanistan had been “transformed” under…
THE DAILY WTF
By TOLO News
The National Examination Authority (NEXA) said that only male students can attend the university entrance examination this…
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 85.69 AFN (as of 20 JUL 2023)