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Vice-president leaves Afghanistan amid torture and rape claims

The Guardian, 20 May 2017 “Afghanistan’s vice-president [Abdulrashid Dostum] has left the country after a six-month standoff following allegations that he illegally detained a political rival and had him raped with an assault rifle”, reports the British daily.  President Ashraf Ghani “framed the case as his make-or-break moment to show that not even powerful warlords were […]

The Butcher of Kabul and I

Rediff News, 8 May 2017 A former Indian ambassador recounts Hekmatyar ‘politics’ while working on special assignment as Charge d’Affaires to manage the embassy in Kabul in 1990 – and wondering whom the Hezb leader was “trying to impress” by bringing “his wife and daughter for the ceremony in the presidential palace on Thursday, May […]

Insiders aided Kabul hospital attack, survivors say

AFP, 12 March 2017 This AFP story about the attack on Kabul’s military Sardar Daud Khan hospital, claimed by Daesh, picks up reports about inside support for the assailants – and on growing doubt that it was really the IS, namely on “indications that the (Taliban-allied) Haqqani network was behind it.”

Afghan capital plagued by kidnapping and extortion of locals

AFP/The National, 10 March 2017 Underreported, underrated – a phenomenon that undermines the security of Kabulis probably as much as terrorism. One shortcoming: the too short sentence about the political connections and protection of the abduction syndicates: The government’s inability to curb kidnappings has led many like Mr Ghulam to suspect that some criminals are […]

How an Afghan refugee’s path to freedom took another twist in France

The Globe and Mail, 17 February 2017 The Canadian daily tells the story of a young Afghan from Takhar who dreams about Canada – and describes his long winding odyssey through Europe: Turkey-Greece-Croatia-Switzerland-Croatia-France…, all documented by his photos and facebook posts