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Their actions will be different if they are able to operate relatively freely within a broadly pro-Taliban area instead of having to be more covert and aggressive in their activities if the area was perceived as anti-Taliban. Similarly, according to comments obtained from a Kabul-based independent policy research group by the Danish Immigration Service, there is regional variation in the use of night letters, with the research group explaining that some targets "would normally expect" to receive multiple warning letters before any action against them is taken, whereas there are cases in which physical assaults and murders are carried out without advance-warning letters, or targets may be invited to defend themselves at a Taliban court May , According to Minority Rights Group International MRG , night letters are "followed up with real violence, and in some cases murder," forcing recipients, such as women working in politics or the public sphere, to leave their employment or face risks to their family's safety July , Similarly, the Professor explained that threats in night letters are "taken seriously" by their Afghan targets, and the consequences for ignoring letters include death 19 Jan.

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The Danish Immigration Service reported that, according to information gathered from several sources in Kabul in , the consequences of ignoring threat letters include killings or "physical elimination," kidnappings or "abduction for ransom," hijackings, assault or physical beatings, and torture, among others Denmark May , The AIHRC told the Danish Immigration Service that there were "different levels of intimidation" and in some cases killings may occur, while in others "the assault is limited to beatings or nothing happens" ibid. The UNHCR told the Danish Immigration Service's fact-finding mission that Taliban intimidation and continued threats can lead to "physical elimination" in cases where warnings are ignored; threats "will mostly be repeated until the victim is silenced by obeying orders" ibid.

Similarly, according to the independent analyst, "punishments are threatened [in night letters] and often acted upon. The arrival of such letters The same source indicated that, while the consequences of ignoring a night letter depend on "specific circumstances Sources report that insurgents continue to target and attack aid workers Freedom House ; US 27 Feb.

Freedom House reports that there was a "threefold increase in deadly attacks" against NGO staff in , resulting in the death of at least 36 people, as well as a "dramatically" increased rate of kidnappings and abductions According to a July report of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan UNAMA , there were civilian casualties from targeted killings dead and injured , 95 percent of which were attributed to "anti-government elements," and included killings of tribal elders, civilian government and justice officials, and mullahs UN July , According to sources, forged threat letters can be obtained Independent analyst 9 Jan.

In the information it provided to the Danish Immigration Service, CPAU indicated that "it is quite easy to fabricate a Taliban night letter" and that, for different reasons, people will occasionally "pretend" to be the Taliban in order to employ threats by night letter or text Denmark May , The Times reports that, in response to such letters, the Taliban leadership commenced an investigation and warned that the authors of such letters would be punished under Sharia law for copyright infringement, with harsher penalties for Taliban insurgents caught forging letters ibid.

The EASO concluded an analysis on Afghan night letters by stating that "[i]t is not possible to list indispensable features of genuine Taliban night letters or to define what they should look like" and that "[i]t is very difficult to distinguish between genuine Taliban letters and forgeries" EU Dec.

Similarly, the independent analyst stated that documents purporting to be from Afghanistan, including night letters, are "difficult to authenticate" even with "a detailed understanding of the particular case history" of the document 9 Jan.

Letters to the Editor: It’s time to end the conflict in Afghanistan

According to the Professor, "authentication" of night letters is difficult Professor 19 Jan. He has observed variations in night letters with Taliban logos, others that are professionally printed or handwritten; he noted, however, that they are "often signed by a local religious leader," which is a "good indicator of authenticity" ibid.

According to the independent analyst, some of the typical problems with the authentication of Afghan documents, generally, including night letters, are.

According to the official of the AIHRC, the sources of "authentication" of a night letter are the intelligence units of the police and the army, and the National Directorate of Security NDS , which would have to check whether the signatory of the letter is an operating member of the Taliban in the area 17 Jan. The Professor expressed the opinion that a test of authenticity would involve consulting village elders for their opinions, as they would have knowledge of the target and the issues involved 19 Jan.

The AIHRC official indicated that challenges to "authentication" of a night letter include a lack of security in the area, verifying the existence of the signatory of the night letter, and a target's lack of cooperation because of "personal reasons" or a "fear of reprisal from the Taliban" 17 Jan. According to CPAU, in information obtained by the Danish Immigration Service, people receiving a threatening message on their phones will have the number traced through the cell phone company to identify the sender Denmark May , This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints.

This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request. He has previously completed research for UK and Swedish government agencies and has conducted and published research on Taliban propaganda and communications. Correspondence from an official to the Research Directorate.

Correspondence from a co-director to the Research Directorate.

Former Afghan spy chief says letters show Pakistan supports militants - Reuters

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada. May Danish Immigration Service. European Union EU. December Human Rights Watch. July This was a presidential statement on the electoral process in Afghanistan, following the conclusion of the voter registration process on 18 July for this year's parliamentary and district council elections and for the presidential elections. This presidential statement emphasised the importance of advancing regional, interregional and international cooperation to achieve stability and sustainable development in Afghanistan and the Central Asian region.

This was a statement on the review of the implementation of resolution This was the report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security. This was the 10th report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team submitted pursuant to resolution This was the report of the Afghanistan Sanctions Committee.

This was a press release on the delisting of one individual from the Afghanistan Sanction list. This was a letter containing the terms of reference for the visiting mission to Afghanistan. Many are afraid. They look around at their impoverished country devastated by violence and graft. He was forever optimistic; that is, until an attack on the American University in Kabul. He waited until 4 a. As he stood outside, watching bodies being carried out, the injured helped to safety, he swore that if his son lived he would send his family away.

His son survived and the family is now in Turkey.


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  7. One day my friend, who still lives and works in Kabul to support his expatriated family, hopes to bring them home. But this may only remain an unconvinced assertion. The person who shot us was representative of only himself, not Afghanistan. The millions of Afghans who have struggled through decades of war, found the courage to endure loss and suffering.

    They are the ones who define this extraordinary country. What we do when we tell their stories is we reveal the real awe-inspiring courage of those who choose to speak out, who live with chaos and tragedy, and who soldier on because they must. What worried me the most when I returned to work after the attack was that I would look at people differently. I was afraid that fear would cloud my perception. I was afraid that the real joy that I had always felt going out into the field would be replaced by this fear.

    Letter from Afghanistan

    If anything I feel stronger than ever that what we — as journalists — do is a privilege. On a recent visit to Kabul I was sitting on the floor in the home of a mother who had lost her son in an explosion. I watched her kiss and kiss over and over the picture of the lost child and saw in her real courage. It was a courage that enabled her to face life without her child and to know that her other children risked dying, each time they stepped outside the door.

    You choose on what side of the line you want to be. She has been reporting the region for the AP since Gannon also has covered the Middle East, including the Israeli war against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon and the war in northern Iraq. Sign in Join. Sign in.

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