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Oppressed but not beaten: Afghani accounts on social media

Voices of defiance circulate on social media, highlighting the need for international support against the oppressive regime.

Sabrangindia 21 Aug 2021

AfganistanImage Courtesy:theindianwire.com

National and international media alike are repeatedly playing visuals of panicked masses and heart-wrenching accounts of people to highlight the tragedy of the Afghans since the Taliban take over. As the Taliban gains power in the country, the media and other international human rights groups are calling upon governments to save the helpless people of Afghanistan.

However, posts on social media websites like Twitter and Facebook suggest that while eager to leave the country, Afghans are yet to be muzzled completely. Individuals have shared letters, video clippings and video messages describing the crisis in Afghanistan.

 

 

Sources said that people on-ground have been barred from speaking to media officials. Some said that the real pictures in cities have not even reached media houses because reporters have been barred from documenting the situation.

As such individuals, especially women have stepped forward to share their experiences. One person shared a letter explaining how she could not continue her education. The Taliban in its official account promised to uphold women’s rights. However, the girl remembered her struggle to go to school 20 years ago and feared that her life may revert back to when she had no freedom.

Similarly, School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA) President Shabana Basij-Rasikh recalled how thousands of Afghan girls were invited to the nearest public school in March 2002 for a placement test. The Taliban had burned all female students’ records to erase their existence, including Shabana’s documents.

“Nearly 20 years later… I’m burning my students’ records not to erase them, but to protect them and their families… My students, colleagues, and I are safe with enormous gratitude to our ever-vibrant global village. The time to appropriately express my gratitude will come. But right now there are many who aren’t or increasingly don’t feel safe. I’m broken & devastated for them,” she said in a Twitter thread.

With women at the forefront, Afghans are protesting in small numbers. A couple of days ago, a small group of women held up placards in protest in Kabul. The incident was largely covered by international media as the first reported women’s protest. Similarly, activist and writer Crystal Bayat was one of the 7 women who protested on Afghanistan's Independence Day.

In an interview with New York Times, Bayat said she was protesting for the millions of Afghani women who could not voice themselves. On August 20, Reporters Without Borders raised concern about women journalists who were stopped from going to work or replaced by male counterparts.

On August 18, individuals waved the Afghan flag during the Taliban’s takeover. According to Bayat, the hoisting of the national flag itself has become a form of defiance.

Meanwhile, filmmaker Sahraa Karimi also questioned the silence of the United Nations and countries like the US that allegedly abused the civilians at the Kabul airport.

Accounts like these all the more highlight that countries need to start voicing solidarity with the people of Afghanistan. Many people are applying for Indian and Canadian visas. Particularly, students who received admission to foreign institutions during the pandemic are appealing for help. Former students have also reached out to netizens.

 

 

Organisations like the Scholars at Risk Network partnered with 40 higher education institutions, associations, networks, and over 1,000 professionals and students to send a letter to US government officials calling for immediate action to save Afghanistan’s scholars, students, and civil society actors.

With a worrying future ahead, Afghanistan has only finished its first week since the Taliban takeover.

Related:

Journalists are targeted by all hardliner regimes, this time in Afghanistan
We want our rights: Afghan women protesters
Afghanistan Crisis: What is India’s plan of action?
Afghanistan crisis: A tool to target Islam?

 

Oppressed but not beaten: Afghani accounts on social media

Voices of defiance circulate on social media, highlighting the need for international support against the oppressive regime.

AfganistanImage Courtesy:theindianwire.com

National and international media alike are repeatedly playing visuals of panicked masses and heart-wrenching accounts of people to highlight the tragedy of the Afghans since the Taliban take over. As the Taliban gains power in the country, the media and other international human rights groups are calling upon governments to save the helpless people of Afghanistan.

However, posts on social media websites like Twitter and Facebook suggest that while eager to leave the country, Afghans are yet to be muzzled completely. Individuals have shared letters, video clippings and video messages describing the crisis in Afghanistan.

 

 

Sources said that people on-ground have been barred from speaking to media officials. Some said that the real pictures in cities have not even reached media houses because reporters have been barred from documenting the situation.

As such individuals, especially women have stepped forward to share their experiences. One person shared a letter explaining how she could not continue her education. The Taliban in its official account promised to uphold women’s rights. However, the girl remembered her struggle to go to school 20 years ago and feared that her life may revert back to when she had no freedom.

Similarly, School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA) President Shabana Basij-Rasikh recalled how thousands of Afghan girls were invited to the nearest public school in March 2002 for a placement test. The Taliban had burned all female students’ records to erase their existence, including Shabana’s documents.

“Nearly 20 years later… I’m burning my students’ records not to erase them, but to protect them and their families… My students, colleagues, and I are safe with enormous gratitude to our ever-vibrant global village. The time to appropriately express my gratitude will come. But right now there are many who aren’t or increasingly don’t feel safe. I’m broken & devastated for them,” she said in a Twitter thread.

With women at the forefront, Afghans are protesting in small numbers. A couple of days ago, a small group of women held up placards in protest in Kabul. The incident was largely covered by international media as the first reported women’s protest. Similarly, activist and writer Crystal Bayat was one of the 7 women who protested on Afghanistan's Independence Day.

In an interview with New York Times, Bayat said she was protesting for the millions of Afghani women who could not voice themselves. On August 20, Reporters Without Borders raised concern about women journalists who were stopped from going to work or replaced by male counterparts.

On August 18, individuals waved the Afghan flag during the Taliban’s takeover. According to Bayat, the hoisting of the national flag itself has become a form of defiance.

Meanwhile, filmmaker Sahraa Karimi also questioned the silence of the United Nations and countries like the US that allegedly abused the civilians at the Kabul airport.

Accounts like these all the more highlight that countries need to start voicing solidarity with the people of Afghanistan. Many people are applying for Indian and Canadian visas. Particularly, students who received admission to foreign institutions during the pandemic are appealing for help. Former students have also reached out to netizens.

 

 

Organisations like the Scholars at Risk Network partnered with 40 higher education institutions, associations, networks, and over 1,000 professionals and students to send a letter to US government officials calling for immediate action to save Afghanistan’s scholars, students, and civil society actors.

With a worrying future ahead, Afghanistan has only finished its first week since the Taliban takeover.

Related:

Journalists are targeted by all hardliner regimes, this time in Afghanistan
We want our rights: Afghan women protesters
Afghanistan Crisis: What is India’s plan of action?
Afghanistan crisis: A tool to target Islam?

 

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