February 26, 2020

Kabul Regime and freedom of expression

Kabul Regime and freedom of expression

The head of Kabul regime – Ashraf Ghani – boasts freedom of expression as one of his presidency’s greatest achievements. Yet despite this boast frequently regime forces threaten or arrest religious scholars, writers, journalists and political analysts.

Some time ago Ustad Muhammad Maruf Rasikh – a teacher at Kabul University and a preacher at its mosque – was arrested by Ghani’s intelligence services after they raided his home. He was detained without trial or due process for over a month before being released due to protests and demonstrations demanding his freedom. The regime justified his detainment by arguing the Ustad Rasikh’s teaching of Quran and Hadith to students amounted to extremism and subversion of government.

After that they arrested Qadi Muhammad Hassan Haqyar – a writer and political observer – after he stated that the killing of the Islamic Emirate’s leader – Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour – was a death of martyrdom. Haqyar justified his position by arguing that Mullah Mansour was targeted and killed by the American occupiers and anyone killed by them is according to religious edicts a martyr.

Similarly the political analyst and writer, Engineer Nazar Muhammad Mutmaeen, was numerously insulted and threatened on live television broadcast by the regime’s Ministry of Interior spokesperson – Sediq Sediqi. Sediqi demanded that Mutmaeen accept his personal observations and analyses without criticism and investigation. Mutmaeen retorted that a government which can’t tolerate a pen and an independent opinion, then how can we expect it to tolerate the Taliban as a political opposition.

Also there is the example of Nematullah Karyab – a teacher at Kunar University and a BBC Radio journalist – who was arrested by the foreign occupiers and then handed over to the regime’s intelligence apparatus. He was only recently released from his illegal detention.

The regime has attempted to forcibly silence the voice of reason and truth by detaining teachers, scholars and clerics in dozens of provinces and districts of Afghanistan, going as far as to threaten, debase, torture and even execute them.

Generally the West and their allied regimes only value freedom of expression if it serves as a tool to advance their objectives and interests. If people use this same freedom is used in such a manner that it runs counter to their interests and plans then these same champions of freedoms turn into the worst enemies and opponents of our freedoms.

It is ironic and perhaps slightly pitiful that the foreign occupiers and their internal regime allies have for years argued that the Taliban must accept the regime’s foreign-drafted constitution and respect the freedoms contained therein before any political settlement can take place yet as the war drags on, these same people first formed a government that is in open violation of their constitution and now are stifling the very same freedoms that they vowed to champion.

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