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  • Writer's pictureJack McClelland

What is happening in Afghanistan?

The Taliban, a military group who follow an extreme version of Islamic code have taken control of the capital city of Kabul, which is located in Afghanistan.

The Taliban were last in power in this region between 1996 and 2001, inflicting strict laws that seen women and young girls unable to work or access education.

During this 5-year reign the Taliban enforced rules that prevented girls from accessing education and also determined what women should wear and how they should look. Incredibly women were not allowed to do the following:

  • Wear make-up

  • Leave their homes, unless accompanied by a male relative – this would include day-to-day tasks such as going to the shop

  • Women were forced to wear burkas

  • Those who were found to have broken these laws were severely punished, including public humiliation or beatings.

Many organisations and activists have expressed their concern regarding the safety of women and children following the Taliban regaining control in Kabul. Not only did the Taliban seek to restrict the lives of women and girls, but they also banned from watching television, listening to music, going to the cinema and even kite-flying, stating that it was against Islam.

How have the Taliban taken back control?

Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in September 2001, which the US believed was down to al-Qaeda and its leader Osama Bin Laden. The United States military entered into Afghanistan where they believed Osama Bin Laden was being protected by the Taliban and quickly removed the Taliban from power.

The US alongside support from NATO and other countries went on to support the Afghanistan Government and sought to build a stable nation.

Over the last number of months, the Taliban have gained control throughout several territories around the country and following the announcement from US President Joe Biden, that all American Forces would be removed by 11th September the Taliban control has accelerated.

Following the fear of what may come under the Taliban’s rule many Afghan citizens made a desperate attempt to flee the country, leaving their lives and possessions behind. This was made significantly more difficult as all commercial flights were suspended, with priority given to US military flights in order to evacuate diplomatic staff.

United Kingdom’s Harsh Anti-Refugee Bill:

This crisis that has caused Boris Johnston to recall Parliament from their summer break, has shown a light on the harsh reality of the’ new immigration system’ being introduced by the UK Government.

Priti Patel has introduced a fictional term of a ‘good and a bad asylum seeker’ by providing asylum seekers who only enter into the UK through ‘legal’ routes with protection.

As we have seen from the recent news in Afghanistan and the horrifying pictures from the airport in Kabul, being a refugee is often about fleeing your country due to a crisis and taking any route available in order to protect yourself and your family.

Under Priti Patel’s ‘new immigration system’ those who seek to flee political or religious persecution will be discredited and delegitimised under the narrow pathways provided, with plans to send asylum seekers to a third country where they have no family or connections.

This has been critised by many as they suggest that the narrow ‘legal’ routes provided in this new immigration system will only push those escaping persecution into the hands of traffickers.

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