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  • Reports | Afghan Witness

    Filter by Tags Reports & Analysis Original reporting by the Afgha n Witness team 11 Apr 2024 Taliban issues further restrictions on Afghan female journalists in TV and radio In Kabul, female presenters were reportedly told to appear on air only in full veiling, while in Khost, local media was prohibited from broadcasting calls from women and girls. Read here 4 Apr 2024 Afghan media outlet Etilaatroz launch fact-checking unit as a result of Afghan Witness partnership The Etilaatroz team have been working steadily with AW to learn fact-checking methodologies and develop open source skills. Read here 28 Mar 2024 Accounts impersonating female journalists share pro-Taliban content Many of the impersonator accounts identified by Afghan Witness repeatedly use derogatory language toward the Afghan LGBTQIA+ community and attempt to defame activists and news anchors in exile. Read here 1 Mar 2024 The anti-Taliban Khutba of Mawlawi Abdul Shakoor Hanif Shakoor's anti-Taliban speech departs from typical pro-Taliban Khutbas, and underscores the impact that dissenting religious voices can have against the Taliban regime Read here 28 Feb 2024 Pro-Taliban accounts promote Afshar Genocide hashtag Pro-Taliban accounts began sharing posts commemorating the anniversary of the 1993 Hazara massacre on X on February 10 to denounce Massoud’s military operation, whilst anti-Taliban activists called out pro-Taliban attempts to exacerbate ethnic tensions Read here 10 Apr 2024 Afghan women protest Taliban’s policies on International Women’s Day Afghan Witness has seen a downturn in street protests, with many women taking their protests indoors and online in an attempt to avoid suppression or violence. Read here 28 Mar 2024 Pakistani airstrikes in Afghanistan prompt retaliatory actions from Taliban Pakistan stated the strikes were directed at militant group members located in Afghanistan, while the Afghan Taliban claimed that civilian residential areas were hit. Afghan Witness confirmed the deaths of several children following the strikes and verified retaliatory shelling and gunfire from Afghan forces towards Pakistani territory. Read here 28 Mar 2024 ISKP claim responsibility for attack outside Kandahar bank According to the group’s statement, a suicide bomber targeted Taliban members withdrawing their salaries. Reports cite conflicting casualty figures, though a source at a hospital claimed 21 individuals were killed in the attack. Read here 28 Feb 2024 Taliban measure to enrol women in public medical institutes promoted by bot-like social media accounts The news that female graduates would be allowed to apply to study in public medical institutes in 11 provinces has been heavily promoted by social media accounts, some of which display bot-like behaviour Read here 27 Feb 2024 'Playing on both sides': Russian manoeuvring in Afghanistan on the rise Over the past few months, Russia’s manoeuvring on Afghanistan appears to have increased, with indications of rising engagement with both Taliban and anti-Taliban forces. Read here View More

  • Reports and Analysis

    Reports and Analysis Original reporting by the Afghan Witness team 11 Apr 2024 Taliban issues further restrictions on Afghan female journalists in TV and radio In Kabul, female presenters were reportedly told to appear on air only in full veiling, while in Khost, local media was prohibited from broadcasting calls from women and girls. Read more 10 Apr 2024 Afghan women protest Taliban’s policies on International Women’s Day Afghan Witness has seen a downturn in street protests, with many women taking their protests indoors and online in an attempt to avoid suppression or violence. Read more 4 Apr 2024 Afghan media outlet Etilaatroz launch fact-checking unit as a result of Afghan Witness partnership The Etilaatroz team have been working steadily with AW to learn fact-checking methodologies and develop open source skills. Read more 28 Mar 2024 Pakistani airstrikes in Afghanistan prompt retaliatory actions from Taliban Pakistan stated the strikes were directed at militant group members located in Afghanistan, while the Afghan Taliban claimed that civilian residential areas were hit. Afghan Witness confirmed the deaths of several children following the strikes and verified retaliatory shelling and gunfire from Afghan forces towards Pakistani territory. Read more 28 Mar 2024 Accounts impersonating female journalists share pro-Taliban content Many of the impersonator accounts identified by Afghan Witness repeatedly use derogatory language toward the Afghan LGBTQIA+ community and attempt to defame activists and news anchors in exile. Read more 28 Mar 2024 ISKP claim responsibility for attack outside Kandahar bank According to the group’s statement, a suicide bomber targeted Taliban members withdrawing their salaries. Reports cite conflicting casualty figures, though a source at a hospital claimed 21 individuals were killed in the attack. Read more 1 Mar 2024 The anti-Taliban Khutba of Mawlawi Abdul Shakoor Hanif Shakoor's anti-Taliban speech departs from typical pro-Taliban Khutbas, and underscores the impact that dissenting religious voices can have against the Taliban regime Read more 28 Feb 2024 Taliban measure to enrol women in public medical institutes promoted by bot-like social media accounts The news that female graduates would be allowed to apply to study in public medical institutes in 11 provinces has been heavily promoted by social media accounts, some of which display bot-like behaviour Read more 28 Feb 2024 Pro-Taliban accounts promote Afshar Genocide hashtag Pro-Taliban accounts began sharing posts commemorating the anniversary of the 1993 Hazara massacre on X on February 10 to denounce Massoud’s military operation, whilst anti-Taliban activists called out pro-Taliban attempts to exacerbate ethnic tensions Read more 27 Feb 2024 'Playing on both sides': Russian manoeuvring in Afghanistan on the rise Over the past few months, Russia’s manoeuvring on Afghanistan appears to have increased, with indications of rising engagement with both Taliban and anti-Taliban forces. Read more Load more

  • Afghan Witness | OSINT reporting from Afghanistan

    To survey How to use our map View map Home: Our Misson Latest Reports Taliban issues further restrictions on Afghan female journalists in TV and radio In Kabul, female presenters were reportedly told to appear on air only in full veiling, while in Khost, local media was prohibited from broadcasting calls from women and girls. Afghan women protest Taliban’s policies on International Women’s Day Afghan Witness has seen a downturn in street protests, with many women taking their protests indoors and online in an attempt to avoid suppression or violence. Afghan media outlet Etilaatroz launch fact-checking unit as a result of Afghan Witness partnership The Etilaatroz team have been working steadily with AW to learn fact-checking methodologies and develop open source skills. Pakistani airstrikes in Afghanistan prompt retaliatory actions from Taliban Pakistan stated the strikes were directed at militant group members located in Afghanistan, while the Afghan Taliban claimed that civilian residential areas were hit. Afghan Witness confirmed the deaths of several children following the strikes and verified retaliatory shelling and gunfire from Afghan forces towards Pakistani territory. Accounts impersonating female journalists share pro-Taliban content Many of the impersonator accounts identified by Afghan Witness repeatedly use derogatory language toward the Afghan LGBTQIA+ community and attempt to defame activists and news anchors in exile. ISKP claim responsibility for attack outside Kandahar bank According to the group’s statement, a suicide bomber targeted Taliban members withdrawing their salaries. Reports cite conflicting casualty figures, though a source at a hospital claimed 21 individuals were killed in the attack. The anti-Taliban Khutba of Mawlawi Abdul Shakoor Hanif Shakoor's anti-Taliban speech departs from typical pro-Taliban Khutbas, and underscores the impact that dissenting religious voices can have against the Taliban regime Pro-Taliban accounts promote Afshar Genocide hashtag Pro-Taliban accounts began sharing posts commemorating the anniversary of the 1993 Hazara massacre on X on February 10 to denounce Massoud’s military operation, whilst anti-Taliban activists called out pro-Taliban attempts to exacerbate ethnic tensions Taliban measure to enrol women in public medical institutes promoted by bot-like social media accounts The news that female graduates would be allowed to apply to study in public medical institutes in 11 provinces has been heavily promoted by social media accounts, some of which display bot-like behaviour 'Playing on both sides': Russian manoeuvring in Afghanistan on the rise Over the past few months, Russia’s manoeuvring on Afghanistan appears to have increased, with indications of rising engagement with both Taliban and anti-Taliban forces. Surge in female suicides linked to forced marriages, Taliban violence, and arrests Documenting 195 cases of suicide since April 2022, AW has observed a rise in female suicides since the Taliban seized power in 2021, and identified a pattern suggesting that ethnic minorities appear to make up a disproportionate share of the reported cases Passport offices reopening leads to significant overcrowding and subsequent reclosure With some having waited over a year for a new passport, the reopening of passport offices in Kabul led to several days of chaos. Their reclosure means Afghans seeking to exit the country must revert to the unreliable online application process. More Reports In the Press Home: Who we are For Witnesses For journalists Anchor 1 Home: Contact Strengthening reporting Our database of verified information is available in the form of the interactive Afghan Witness Map , designed to support journalists, researchers and policymakers in their reporting and analysis. Further data from our database of visual evidence and claims is also shared with organisations and journalists upon request. While our work is rooted in open source verification, our interviews with Afghans from a variety of backgrounds shed light on the impacts of the issues we monitor daily. These testimonies are available in an anonymised form for journalists and international media to report on. Get in Touch For Witnesses We provide a secure solution for anyone who has witnessed a human rights incident in Afghanistan and wants to ensure their digital evidence is recorded, analysed and stored in order to hold perpetrators to account. Afghan Witness will investigate and, where possible, verify information submitted through the portal. Evidence can be uploaded anonymously – safeguarding the identities of witnesses and those providing information is of the utmost importance. Upload Evidence View map Subscribe below for in-depth reports, stories, and our monthly newsletter. First name Enter your email address I agree to the terms & conditions View terms of use Subscribe Thanks for submitting! Top of Page Strengthening the information environment Part of our work focuses on building community and strengthening the capabilities of the Afghan diaspora and international organisations to collect, analyse and record information in a way that is verifiable and in accordance with international accountability mechanisms. We do this through training, collaboration, skill swapping, information sharing and through our grants and fellowship program.

  • 500 | Afghan Witness

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  • 500 | Afghan Witness

    Time Out This page isn’t available right now. But we’re working on a fix, ASAP. Try again soon. Go Back

  • 500 | Afghan Witness

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  • Afghan women protest Taliban’s policies on International Women’s Day | Afghan Witness

    Afghan women protest Taliban’s policies on International Women’s Day Afghan Witness has seen a downturn in street protests, with many women taking their protests indoors and online in an attempt to avoid suppression or violence. 10 Apr 2024 Photo: © Afghan Witness Afghan Witness has redacted some links for privacy reasons. On March 1 2024, Afghan women’s rights activists and groups began posting online in commemoration of International Women’s Day, and protesting against the Taliban’s policies towards women. That same day, the Afghanistan Women’s Political Participation Network (AWPN) posted a video on its Facebook page. The video showed a woman with her face entirely covered, holding a placard that read: “I am a woman. I am a human. We have [the] right to live. 8 March, Happy Women’s Day.” On 8 March and the days following, videos began to circulate online, containing protests and speeches by individuals and groups both inside and outside the country. Indoor Protests Inside Afghanistan, almost all protests were held in closed spaces. Videos circulating online show women protesting indoors, with their faces covered by scarves, face masks, sunglasses and placards. AW recorded indoor protests that reportedly took place in Kabul, Takhar, and Balkh provinces. Protesters’ messages and demands mainly called for the recognition of “gender apartheid,” the end of Taliban rule, and the prosecution of Taliban officials. They also demanded the release of Manizha Siddiqi, a female protester who was detained by the Taliban in October 2023 and sentenced to a year and a half in prison in February 2024. AW recorded protests held by 10 different protest movements in total. Despite these protests, on 9 March 2024, the media outlet Hasht-e-Subh reported that a number of women in Herat, Ghor, Badghis, Farah, and Nimruz claimed that Taliban authorities had verbally warned them against any kind of IWD celebration. The women quoted in the report told the outlet that their families stopped them from marking the occasion, as they feared repercussions from the Taliban. Outdoor protests AW noted only one outdoor protest held in Afghanistan this IWD. On 8 March 2024, a video posted on X (formerly Twitter) showed women marching on a road chanting slogans and holding placards. According to media reports, members of the Independent Coalition of Afghanistan Women’s Protest Movement held the protest in Taloqan City, Takhar. AW was unable to geolocate the protest, as the video did not reveal details about the location in which it was held. Although the group was protesting outdoors, no other people or cars could be seen in the footage. The women in the video seemed vigilant of their surroundings and chanted: “Death to the misogynist state: Taliban, the enemy of the young generation. The Taliban regime must be annihilated. Manizha Sidiqi must be freed. We will stand until we are alive. We will die but will not surrender.” Women's outdoor protests have experienced a downturn amid Taliban suppression and detention of female protesters. AW records show that the Taliban detained at least 21 female protesters between March and November 2023, including Wahida Mahrami , Neda Parwani, Zholia Parsi , Bahara Karimi , Parisa Azada , and Manizha Siddiqi . AW could not independently verify these detentions, due to a lack of supporting visual evidence. With the Taliban's crackdown on women's protests inside Afghanistan, female activists who left the country often hold demonstrations abroad. AW recorded several such protests and gatherings in Pakistan, Germany , and Canada on IWD. On 8 March 2024, for instance, the Independent Coalition of Afghanistan Women’s Protest Movement reportedly convened a gathering in Islamabad, Pakistan. The protest denounced the Taliban's violation of women's rights and asked the international community not to recognise the Taliban. AW also noted several indoor protests that purportedly took place in Iran. A number of men also attended IWD protests and gatherings abroad, in support of Afghan women. Taliban’s reaction The Taliban did not officially ban the commemoration of IWD 2024. However, there are claims and media reports that the group verbally warned women in Herat, Ghor, Badghis, Farah and Nimruz against any gathering for the occasion. On 7 March 2024, the former General Director of the Crime Investigation Department (CID), Bismillah Taban, posted on X that the Taliban's Interior Ministry had ordered its offshoots in Kabul and other provinces to prevent any gatherings on 8 March 2024. Taban also mentioned that the Taliban's cyber team was on a mission to disrupt online events on X. On 8 March 2024, Radio Azadi reported that a number of female protesters claimed they were prevented from gathering indoors to celebrate IWD, due to Taliban surveillance. Despite these reports, on 8 March 2024, in a video shared by Tolo News, Taliban Spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said that the Taliban were committed to women’s rights within the framework of Islam. Mujahid alluded to a decree on women's rights issued by the Taliban's Supreme Leader in December 2021, adding: “courts have been seriously advised to deal with women's cases with utter accuracy and without any discrimination.” Meanwhile, Hurriyat Radio, a Taliban-run media company, posted a video on its social media channels that shows a gathering of women in Kabul, marking the occasion of IWD. In the video, the female speaker says: “Those [women] who left the country do not represent us.” The speaker also expresses appreciation for the Taliban's decree on women's rights. The women seen in the video wear moderate clothing, which makes it different from other pro-Taliban gatherings in the past, where women appeared in top-to-toe black coverings. Also on 8 March 2024, Taliban supporters held an X space, titled “The celebration of women’s day in the world and massacre of women in Palestine,” where they condemned the commemoration of IWD as an invention of “infidels,” and claimed that women celebrating the day were indifferent to the suffering of women in Palestine. AW also observed several pro-Taliban accounts spreading this same narrative about IWD and the oppressed Palestinian women in Gaza. Overall, however, there does not appear to have been a coordinated Taliban or pro-Taliban campaign to highlight IWD online activity in 2024. Conclusion With the Taliban’s suppression of women’s protests, and more female activists leaving the country and living in exile, women’s protests, particularly outdoor protests and marches, appear to be losing their momentum within Afghanistan. Similarly, IWD-related protests seem to be fading out, compared with the past two years, as female protesters increasingly fear identification and persecution by the Taliban. They now protest indoors, cover their faces, and obscure their identities more than in the past. This situation, however, has led to diversification, and the formation of more women’s groups within Afghanistan and abroad. This could potentially translate into new faces taking over the protests inside the country, although with less visibility than before. Share

  • Resources

    Resources Afghanistan’s shrinking information environment What is the information environment, and what challenges face Afghanistan’s own information space? How can we strengthen it? Read More OSINT 101: what is open source intelligence (OSINT)? This is the first article of an explainer series about OSINT, its techniques, and how these can be applied in real-world investigations, especially in Afghanistan. Read More Open source techniques and how to use them What are the initial steps in an open source investigation? Which open source techniques are used by our analysts? Read More Using open source to counter mis- and disinformation What is mis- and disinformation? How is it undermining Afghanistan’s information environment, and how can we help tackle it? Read More

  • Stories from Afghanistan

    Human Stories Original interviews with Afghans on how their lives have changed since the Taliban takeover Up Load more Stories List Gawhar Before the Taliban’s takeover, Gawhar had been preparing for university. Now she spends her days as a carpet weaver in Pakistan. Read More Sofia University graduate Sofia grew up hearing "tales" of the Taliban, but says she now faces the "same fate" her mother faced. Read More Frozan After the closure of girls’ secondary schools and then an attack on her education centre, a student says her hopes have been dashed by the Taliban’s recent university ban for women. Read More Parnian A student recalls the day the Taliban closed universities to women. Read More Fatana A doctor says that many of her new patients are schoolgirls who have lost hope. Read More Arseen An LGBTQ activist fled Afghanistan after receiving death threats from the Taliban. Now in Iran, he faces uncertainty over his future. Read More Maihan While studying for a PhD in Pakistan, university lecturer Maihan had her income cut-off by the Taliban. Now she faces poverty in Afghanistan. Read More Rahima The owner of a Kabul beauty salon says her business is facing increasing uncertainty. Read More Morwarid A young entrepreneur struggles to keep her business afloat amid Taliban restrictions. Read More Sakhi After leaving Afghanistan, Sakhi faces new challenges in Pakistan. Read More Malalai Pen Path volunteer Malalai refuses to let anything get in the way of her campaigning for educational rights. Read More Aqlima Until last August, Aqlima was campaigning to get more women into cycling, but since the Taliban’s return, women are unable to participate in sports. Read More

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