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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

August-27-01

Woman Journalist Documents Holocaust-like Events in Afghanistan

Last night on “CNN Presents,” British journalist Saira Shah risked her life entering Taliban-controlled Afghanistan to document on film the horrific treatment of women and girls, unimaginable destitution, and the mass murder of ethnic minorities. Shah is one of few journalists to go to the front-lines of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. The piece confirmed that the Taliban’s repressive treatment of women leads to the starvation and malnutrition of countless Afghan women and children, as well as the unimaginable “destitution created by the world’s most stringent restrictions on women.” Video footage shows public executions of women at the Kabul football stadium and mass graves filled with disfigured bodies reminiscent of the Nazi Holocaust of millions of Jews during World War II. The film also documents Taliban massacres of civilians in central and northern Afghanistan.

Shah’s footage documents a woman buying handfuls of moldy bread scraps, intended for use as animal feed, to grind up to feed to her starving children. Shah also documents terrible conditions in women’s hospitals. Meanwhile, more than 400 people seeking political asylum, most of them Afghans, continue to float aboard a ship just off the coast of Australia, where they were refused permission to dock last week. Earlier this year, the Taliban issued an edict requiring all non-Muslims to wear a yellow patch on their clothing, recalling the Nazi edict requiring Jews to wear the yellow star.

“The Feminist Majority commends CNN for airing this courageous journalist’s coverage of gender apartheid in Afghanistan,” says Eleanor Smeal, FM President. “We are troubled, however, at anchor Leon Harris’ trivializing of the fate of thousands of Afghan women, men, and children by ending the program with a mention of the Taliban’s recent ban on playing cards and lipstick. We urge CNN to continue airing and updating this coverage of gender apartheid and the draconian edicts that the Taliban has imposed in Afghanistan until the international community responds to this present-day Holocaust.”

If you too are outraged by the Taliban, join the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan.

Media Resources: “CNN Presents” – August 26, 2001 and Voice of America News Service – August 27, 2001 and Feminist Majority Foundation


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

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