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

Dissatisfied Taliban leaders want to remove supreme leader

According to Brookings Institution, an American think-tank, senior Taliban leaders are frustrated by their supreme leader, Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada and his “Kandahar-based clique” and want to replace him with a Leadership Council


Talibanomics: crippling taxes on a starving people in a collapsed economy

Extracting taxes has become the group’s main source of revenue. But for many, the taxes imposed are arbitrary and extortionate, with no services delivered in return. KabulNow spoke to people across Afghanistan to see how the Taliban taxes had impacted them and the businesses.

Putin: Afghanistan has more significance than ever for Russia

Addressing top security officials from the region in the Kremlin on Wednesday, the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, said that conflicts elsewhere, including the war in Ukraine, did not reduce the significance of Afghanistan for Russia, “it is important more than ever because we do not want more points of tension on our southern borders.”

Russia: Weapons left behind by the US can intensify group fighting in Afghanistan

Speaking at the fifth round of Moscow Format Consultations on Afghanistan, attended by Security Council heads from India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, the Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, warned that the weapons left behind by the US in Afghanistan can intensify the fight between Afghan groups.

MPs criticise UK Government over Afghanistan

British MPs: Leaving Afghanistan was ‘a dark chapter’, and thousands are left stranded

Several thousand contractors and interpreters who worked work for the UK in Afghanistan during its 20-year involvement have been left behind in the country and at risk due to failures of the British government’s resettlement scheme, according to a Commons Select Committee report.

UN Chief: Afghan girls are exiles in their own country

António Guterres: Afghan girls are exiles in their own country

Presenting his priorities for 2023, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres said at the UN general assembly in New York on Monday that “women and girls in Afghanistan are exiles in their own country, banned from public life, with every aspect of their lives controlled by men.”

Taliban flog two women and a man

Taliban publicly flog a woman and 5 men in Ghor province

Locals in the city of Firozkoh, the capital of the central province of Ghor, confirmed to KabulNow that the Taliban publicly flogged 6 people, including a woman, at a sports stadium on Tuesday.

HRW calls on the EU to grant asylum to Afghan women

Human Rights Watch calls on the EU to grant asylum to Afghan women

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on EU member states to offer asylum to Afghan women fleeing the Taliban in Afghanistan, after Denmark and Sweden announced they would grant asylum based on gender.

Canadian Senator’s issued 640 “inauthentic” travel documents to people escaping the Taliban

Canadian Senator’s office issued 640 “inauthentic” travel documents to Afghans

Canadian Senator, Marilou McPhedran, issued 640 Canadian travel documents to Afghans in 2021 to escape the Taliban, reports the Globe and Mail.

IFJ demands the immediate release of Behboudi

International Federation of Journalists demand the immediate release of French-Afghan journalist

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has called for the immediate release of French-Afghan journalist Mortaza Behboudi, who has been held captive by the Taliban since 7 January 2023.

Taliban blocks access to Voice of America and Liberty Radio websites

Two months after closing the Radio Azadi (Radio Liberty) and Voice of America FM frequencies, the Taliban has shut down their websites in Afghanistan.

The situation in Afghanistan will only get worse

‘Situation in Afghanistan will only get worse’, warns EU Envoy

In an interview with WION News on Saturday, the EU diplomat called on the Taliban to “think carefully about the consequences their decision is having on the people of Afghanistan”. The Taliban government was neither recognised by the people of Afghanistan and nor by the international community.

Afghan women robotics team

US: Afghan women have the right to education at all levels

Marking the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, the U.S. Mission in Afghanistan praised the achievements of the Afghan Girls’ Robotics Team,  tweeting that the team is a “shining example of hope and hard work” and that Afghan women and girls “deserve to be educated at all levels.”

Decline in sales and high Taliban taxes send booksellers onto the streets

Decline in sales and Taliban taxes send Herat booksellers onto the streets

Booksellers in Afghanistan’s western city of Herat have been forced to sell onto the streets due to declining demand, high taxes imposed by the Taliban, and unaffordable rents.

British Chargé d’Affaires ends assignment with an emphasis on dialogue with the Taliban

The British Chargé d’Affaires for the Doha based UK Mission to Afghanistan, Hugo Shorter, has ended his assignment by emphasising on dialogue as the way forward to overcome the Afghan conflict.

Taliban accused of killing former Afghan army officer

Taliban accused of killing former Afghan army officer in Kabul

Sources in Kabul have confirmed that a former Afghan army officer was assassinated in the west of the city on Saturday. Eyewitnesses said two unidentified assailants shot the former Junior Captain, Hassan Reza Hazara, dead and left the scene.

Taliban torture and release Parisa Mubariz

Taliban arrests women’s rights activist in Takhar province

Parisa Mubariz, a founding member of the Women’s Right to Protest Movement of Takhar, in the province, and her brother were arrested from their home on Saturday. The UN, EU and HRW have called for her immediate release.

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