Afghanistan

Afghanistan ‘vote fraud’ videos raise alarm

Over the past few days, several amateur videos appearing to show election fraud in last Saturday’s election in Afghanistan have circulated on social networks. Some of them show people stamping piles of ballots. While it is not possible to prove the ballots shown in these videos ended up being counted in the election, our Observers in Afghanistan find some of the footage quite convincing. Read more... 

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Americans accused of standing by while Afghan troops beat prisoner

 
A new video that appears to show Afghan soldiers beating a detainee under the gaze of American military personnel is starting to grab more attention. The footage has led two of our Observers to worry that crimes committed on the ground may go unpunished. Read more...

Denied visas, Afghans who translated for French army fear for their lives

 
Over the past few months, several dozen Afghans who served as interpreters for the French army have arrived in France. Many more, however, have not been granted visas, and remain in their homeland, where they are now treated as pariahs and targeted by insurgents. One of these men tells us about his troubling situation. Read more…
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In photos: “To Boston from Kabul, with love”

 
Following the Boston attacks, photos showing Afghans holding a sign reading “To Boston from Kabul, with love” started spreading on social networks. This touching show of support was launched by a photographer from Boston working in Afghanistan. Read more and see photos…

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Videos of Afghan war tread fine line between voyeurism and therapy

 
Video footage of American troops fighting against the Taliban in Afghanistan has garnered widespread attention online, highlighting a growing interest in raw, first-hand accounts from the 11 year-old conflict. While there are some who watch out of curiosity, others are veterans for whom the videos may serve as a means to cope with the trauma of war. Read more…
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French expats react to embassy closures

 
France has ordered the closure of its embassies, schools, and embassies Friday in 20 countries, mostly in the Muslim world. The French government is worried that these institutions could be targeted during protests against French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo’s publication of incendiary cartoons representing the Prophet Mohammed. We asked three French expatriates living in Muslim countries what they thought of these measures. Read more…

Execution video highlights violence against women in rural Afghanistan

 
A recent video of a Taliban fighter executing a woman in a small town in Afghanistan’s Parwan Province last month has sparked outrage, but our Observer on the ground says the footage finally sheds light on the kind of violence women in the country’s rural areas often face. Read more…
 
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US apology for burning of Korans fails to quell Afghans' anger

 
Afghans are finding it hard to believe that US troops from the northern city of Bagram’s military base burned prisoner’s Korans “by mistake”, as contrite top US brass have tried to explain. The news sparked three days of violent protests in cities across the country. Read more…
 

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Child soldiers called up for Taliban propaganda

 
A video showing young Afghan children bearing firearms was published on YouTube in late December. Our Observer in Kabul says this is a perfect example of Taliban propaganda. Read more...
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With a little jihadi kitsch and some gangsta iconography, Afghan artist ‘runs’ for parliament

 
When Amanullah Mojadidi, a US-born, Kabul-based Afghan artist, ran a parliamentary election campaign combining elements of jihadi kitsch with a gangsta style, Afghan authorities were not amused. Read more...
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