Female Afghan judge who just escaped country says released Taliban prisoners tried to hunt her down after takeover

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AFGHANISTAN – A female Afghan judge who managed to flee the country says that following the takeover by the Taliban, militants she had previously jailed attempted to hunt her down before she escaped the country.

A recent report from Reuters detailed the female judge’s account, with the woman telling the outlet:

“Four or five Taliban members came and asked people in my house: ‘Where is this woman judge?’ These were people who I had put in jail.”

This former Afghan judge, who is now safe in Europe after being able to successfully evacuate the country from Kabul, is among one of roughly 250 female judges that worked in Afghanistan. The outlet reports that while some were able to flee the country, many remained left behind under the Taliban’s rule.

Many of these female judges in Afghanistan tried fleeing the country while evacuations were taking place in August but were unable to.

With the Taliban having freed prisoners all over the country, the former Afghan judge in Europe says those she’s been in contact with who previously served as judges are “in danger”:

“Their messages are of fear and complete terror. They tell me if they do not get rescued their lives are in direct danger.”

Afghan human rights activist Horia Mosadiq says that it’s not just former female judges that are at risk in Afghanistan while under the Taliban’s rule, but thousands of other women who engaged in various human rights efforts within the country.

British Justice Minister Robert Buckland commented on the matter, noting that they were able to safely evacuate nine former judges in Afghanistan and are actively trying to create a safe passage to Europe for other “very vulnerable people”:

“A lot of these judges were responsible for administering the rule of law and quite rightly they are fearful about the consequences that could now face them with the rise of the Taliban.”

Sarah Kay, a Belfast-based human rights lawyer and member of the Atlas Women network of international lawyers who is part of the online group dubbed as the “digital Dunkirk” had the following to say about the female judges left behind in Afghanistan: 

“Governments had zero interest in evacuating people that were not their own nationals.”

Patricia Whalen, an America-based judge who helped train female Afghan judges abroad, is also assisting with finding a way to get these women in Afghanistan safely evacuated:

“The responsibility that we bear is almost unbearable at the moment because we are one of the few people taking responsibility for this group.”

Over the past month, the Taliban have sworn that they’ll uphold the rights of women “within the limits of Islam,” according to a spokesperson for the outfit.

The Biden administration has affirmed that in the event the Taliban go back on their pledges regarding the treatment of Afghan citizens, then some sort of action will be taken to hold the Taliban accountable.

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‘We’re in charge now’: Photo appears to show Taliban posing alongside CT State Trooper hat

(Originally published September 2nd, 2021)

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – Pictures of a Taliban leader and his troops posing for photos with their guns at the former Afghan National Police Academy in Kabul were published in a UK newspaper – which a certain hat visible in one of the photos is causing some controversy.

A Connecticut State Trooper’s hat, which had been given to Afghan police trainees by the Americans who trained them previously, was conspicuously exhibited on the desk in front of the Taliban militants in pictures taken on August 24th, according to The Sun.

According to the New York Post, the photo showed Taliban Commander Qasi Ali seated behind a desk surrounded by armed Taliban soldiers in a training center formerly used by United States-led NATO forces on the eastern outskirts of Kabul.

While speaking with The Sun, Ali stated:

“Look at this office. We haven’t looted anything.”

Next to the Connecticut State Trooper’s hat was a British police helmet that was also gifted to the Afghan police trainees under similar circumstances to that of the trooper hat.

According to the New Haven Register, Connecticut State Police spokesman Brian Foley stated that hundreds of active and former Connecticut state troopers have served in the military abroad, and that exchanging police hats and patches is a customary gesture of confidence and respect:

“While it is impossible to definitively determine, it is plausible and we believe that a retired trooper of the rank of lieutenant or higher, deployed overseas, exchanged the [state police] hat for this honorable purpose.”

While the image of the Taliban posing for a photo in front of something emblematic of the Connecticut State Troopers is unsettling, Foley expressed his gratitude for those who both served abroad and with the state troopers:

“We are proud of the military service of our troopers both active and retired and have a deep appreciation of the sacrifices they have all made.”

The Taliban commander was trying to showcase to The Sun that he and his troops had not plundered the facility, which still had a fully functional office with computers. Even the CCTV, according to Ali, was still fully operational.

Ali also claimed to have contacted some of the civilian personnel who previously worked at the training center, including cooks and electricians, and asked them to return to work.

With Americans still stranded in Afghanistan after the United States completed their military withdrawal, legitimate concerns loom on what may happen to those Americans abroad while under the rule of the Taliban. Ali claims that these Americans have nothing to worry about:

“I don’t know why people are scared. The Taliban have brought security.”

Only time will tell whether or not Ali’s words bear any semblance of reality.

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Left behind by Biden: Pregnant American stranded in Afghanistan kicked in stomach by Taliban, goes into hiding

(Originally published September 1st, 2021)

AFGHANISTAN – According to a report from the Daily Mail, a pregnant American woman who was left stranded in Afghanistan was forced into hiding after being attacked and kicked in the stomach by the Taliban.

The woman, who goes by Nasria, was forced into hiding after she was prevented from passing through one of the Taliban militants’ checkpoints when making her way to the Kabul airport.

She was attempting to flee with her husband, according to the Daily Mail’s report. When she was stopped at the checkpoint, she was kicked in the stomach.

This couple is among the numerous Americans stranded in the county when the rest of the US forces left and evacuees were no longer being transported out, which the Biden administration can’t even articulate a definitive figure on exactly how many Americans were left behind in Afghanistan.

Despite President Joe Biden’s past assurances that all Americans would be out of Afghanistan by the deadline he established and accepted by the Taliban, there are sadly an unknown number of people left behind who are having to put their faith in diplomatic efforts to save them.

Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican from California, has been pushing to get Nasria and her husband out of the country. He appeared on Fox News’ morning show Fox & Friends on August 31st, and based on their correspondence, he recounted what Nasria was going through:

“She was kicked in the stomach, but she was kicked in the stomach well after – as she got through the first checkpoint for hours, waiting for those people at the south point to supposedly come and get her.”

The couple had never made it to the airport in time to secure a flight home, and have since accepted the reality that they need to go into hiding, according to Rep. Issa:

“It wasn’t until it was clear they had closed, they weren’t taking anyone else for quite awhile, that finally, she accepted that she was going to have to go back and hide in her apartment.”

“We’ve agreed that she’s going to stay sheltered in place, hiding her identity and hoping that her friends will continue to bring her food and keep her secret until frankly, we can come up with something new.”

President Biden did confirm during an August 31st press briefing that approximately 10% of Americans that were among those in Afghanistan were left behind:

“Ninety percent of Americans in Afghanistan who wanted to leave were able to leave. And for those remaining Americans, there is no deadline. We remain committed to get them out if they want to come out.”

The president reiterated the notion of there being no deadline for the remaining Americans to be evacuated, laying the responsibility to get the effort accomplished upon U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken:

“Secretary of State Blinken is leading the continued diplomatic efforts to ensure safe passage for any American, Afghan partner, or foreign national who wants to leave Afghanistan.”

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