A summary of the week’s news, views and stories from across and on Afghanistan

Afghanistan tops atlas of impunity ranking

Afghanistan tops the Atlas of Impunity ranking

With a total score of 4.25 out of 5, Afghanistan stands on top of the world in the Atlas of Impunity’s inaugural ranking, having the most unaccountable government that violently abuses human rights. Syria and Yemen stand 2nd and 3rd respectively. 

Pakistan Foreign Minister: Help us help the Taliban

Speaking to CNBC, the Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the Taliban did not respond well to pressure and that there needed to be an environment conducive to engagement with the group.

Pakistan defence minister and ISI chief visit Kabul for talks with the Taliban

Pakistan Defence Minister, Khawaja Mohammad Asif, and head of the country’s intelligence agency (ISI), General Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum, visited Kabul on Wednesday and met the Taliban’s Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

US judge rules against 9/11 attacks victims seizing Afghan central bank assets

A district judge in New York ruled that victims of the 9/11 attacks are not entitled to seize the $3.5 billion in frozen cash assets that belonged to Afghanistan’s central bank and were held in the United States. The judge said the money did not belong to the Taliban.

Taliban is bolstering its forces in Panjshir province

As the weather gets warmer, sources indicate that the Taliban has decided to strengthen its forces in anticipation of potential clashes with the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRF). Convoys of Taliban fighters have been arriving in Panjshir at night times.

Taliban forms companies in Russia, Iran and Pakistan to attract investment

The Taliban’s Minister of Commerce announced that the group’s government has formed a consortium of companies in Russia, Iran, and Pakistan with the aim of attracting investments to Afghanistan.

Taliban arrest women rights activist in Kabul

UN calls for the immediate release of activists from Taliban custody

The UN Special Rapporteur for Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, has called for the immediate release of Nargis Sadat, Zakaria Usoli, and Ismail Mashaal, who have been imprisoned by the Taliban in Kabul for the past two months. 

EU foreign policy chief

Josep Borrell: We will not tolerate the Taliban’s “gender apartheid”

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, told the media after speaking at the UN Security Council in New York on Thursday, that the Taliban’s oppression of women in Afghanistan should not be tolerated.

Crisis Group: Taliban’s oppressive rule is turning aid donors away

The International Crisis Group has warned that the Taliban’s oppression of women is negatively affecting the humanitarian support for Afghanistan, stating that donor countries are becoming increasingly disenchanted.

RSF calls on the UN to help release Behboudi

RSF calls on the UN to help free French-Afghan journalist from Taliban captivity

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has said that it referred the case of Mortaza Behboudi, a French-Afghan journalist currently detained by the Taliban, to the UN to seek his immediate release. Accused of spying, Behboudi has been in Taliban captivity since 7 January.

Taliban arrests two men for “propagating” on Facebook

The Taliban’s intelligence agency detained two men on charges of “propagating” against the group on Facebook. The two men appeared in a video in which they confessed to spreading anti-Taliban messages and posting “immoral” content on their Facebook pages and accounts.

Local media in Parwan

Taliban orders local media to seek approval before publication

The Taliban Ministry of Information and Culture issued an order mandating local media outlets and journalists in the northern Parwan province to seek approval from the Taliban-run Bakhtar News Agency before publishing any content.

Family expresses concerns over the fate of singer detained by the Taliban

Relatives of Musa Shaheen, a singer from the northeastern province of Panshir say they have no information about his fate since his disappearance almost a month ago. Abdulwahab Asim, Musa Shaheen’s brother, told KabulNow that his attempts to obtain information about his brother’s situation and whereabouts have been unsuccessful.

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