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Africa News

Hundreds killed in one week of violence in Haiti capital

Access to healthcare is limited or non-existent, while food and water have been in short supply, he said…reports Asian Lite News

Humanitarians are delivering aid primarily in the Cite Soleil neighbourhood of Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince, where a week of violence claimed 471 casualties, a UN spokesman said.

“In the past few days, the UN has distributed enough food to feed 7,000 people for a week,” said Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“We have also distributed drinking water, as well as kits of basic relief items, including hygiene and baby supplies, plastic sheeting and repair items for damaged houses.”

Haq added that the world body tallied more than 471 people killed, injured or unaccounted for in clashes between rival gangs in the capital city on July 8-17 alone. About 3,000 people fled their homes, including hundreds of unaccompanied children. At least 140 houses were destroyed, several of them by fire.

Access to healthcare is limited or non-existent, while food and water have been in short supply, he said.

The Humanitarian Coordinator, Ulrika Richardson, called on all parties to end violence and to ensure unhindered access to provide emergency humanitarian and medical assistance to civilians in need, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Protection remains a real concern,” the Spokesman told correspondents at a regular briefing, adding there were reports of serious incidents of sexual violence against women and girls and boys recruited by gangs.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported earlier this month in a background report that since June 2021, violent clashes between armed gangs have dominated socio-economic life in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area, spreading fear and terror among the population. The security situation has deteriorated significantly and reached new levels since April 2022.

The report cautioned that “the situation is expected to remain tense and volatile in the coming months”.

Boat capsized

At least 17 people have died after a boat carrying dozens of Haitian refugees capsized off the coast of the Bahamas during a “suspected human smuggling operation”.

Rescue teams recovered the bodies of 15 females, a male, and an infant after the Royal Bahamas Police Force and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force responded to the reports of a boating incident, which took place seven miles off New Providence just after 1 am on Sunday, Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Davis said in a statement.

 Davis further said that twenty-five people were recovered and handed to health officials for monitoring, but still, some people were presumed to be missing and the operation is underway, CNN reported.

“Preliminary investigations suggest that a twin-engine speed boat left a docking facility off West Bay Street around 1 am with approximately 60 people on board. It is believed that their final destination was Miami, Florida,” the Prime Minister said.

“Law enforcement officials will update you on the criminal matter as well as other rescue and recovery efforts. However, I would like to convey the condolences of my government and the people of The Bahamas to the families of those who lost their lives in this tragedy,” the Prime Minister said as quoted by CNN.

Condemning the smuggling operation in the country, the Bahamas PM said, “We take this opportunity to strongly condemn the organization of smuggling operations which risk human life and compromise our national security. Those found to be involved will face prosecution.”

Davis further said that he understands their (migrants) situation that led them to take such great risk.

Bahamas Police Commissioner Clayton Fernander told reporters on Sunday that an estimated 50 to 60 people were believed to have been on board the 20-ft speedboat and that the search for survivors or bodies was ongoing.

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-Top News London News UK News

Sadiq unveils new plan to tackle violence against women

It will target the behaviour of those who perpetrate abuse and make sure they are the focus for change…reports Asian Lite News

A new plan that champions a public health approach to ending violence against women and girls has been unveiled by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan on a visit to Waltham Forest.

While there the Mayor met a beautician and visited a dry cleaners and library to see first-hand the training and education being delivered to men about VAWG to help them become more active allies.

Cafes, libraries, dry cleaners, pubs, beauticians, gyms and other everyday venues across London are being encouraged to be part of the Mayor’s ‘whole society’ approach to tackling violence against women and girls.

The holistic approach will see close to £18m of additional investment from City Hall on specialist services to improve support for victims and survivors, tackle the behaviour of perpetrators and better educate the public on the help they can provide.

The investment in support services includes a specialised response to support all victims to have equal access to justice and services.

The Mayor’s newly refreshed strategy recognises that more robust policing or the threat of the criminal justice system alone cannot prevent violence against women and girls. 

Sadiq’s new strategy will adopt a public health approach to preventing and reducing violence against women and girls. It will place a stronger emphasis on partnership working, prevention and education across a wide range of services in London.

It will target the behaviour of those who perpetrate abuse and make sure they are the focus for change.

“The epidemic of violence is a crisis which should shame us all which is why I’m uniting with partners across London to not only provide support to women and girls but to help educate and inform all Londoners, especially men, about the danger posed by misogynistic attitudes and behaviours,” Sadiq Khan said.

“As well as record investment in services for victims and survivors, I am also funding initiatives which address the behaviour of those at risk of offending or reoffending to help prevent them turning to violence,” he added.

As part of the new plan, local authorities, the NHS, night-time venues, high street shops, Transport for London and the transport industry, universities, the police and the criminal justice system will work more closely with support services tackling VAWG to spot the signs and intervene earlier as part of the Mayor’s whole society approach to effectively tackling violence against women and girls.

High street venues across London, including dry cleaners, beauticians and cafes are being urged to sign up to become information points so that victims of violence or those at risk can be directed to support services safely, quickly and discreetly.

Civic settings such as libraries are also being encouraged to become disclosure settings where women and girls can seek specialist help. City Hall will also convene a round table discussion next month with partners to determine how the NHS and wider health sector can better tackle VAWG collectively in the capital.

ALSO READ-US mass shooter called for Sadiq Khan’s death

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India News

Guterres raises concerns

There were instances of stone-pelting by groups and police used batons and teargas in response to the situation…reports Asian Lite News

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres hopes that security forces will ensure that all religious celebrations can take place peacefully and communities can work together, his Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq said on Tuesday.

“I think the basic point is our hope that the various communities will work together and that the government and the security forces will ensure that everyone can go about their activities, including their celebratory activities, peacefully”, he said in answer to a question about violence in Jodhpur during Eid celebrations.

Some areas of the city in Rajasthan have been put under curfew after clashes over the display of flags.

According to media reports, tensions rose when a saffron flag was replaced with an Islamic flag.

Police reportedly replaced the flags with the national tricolour.

There were instances of stone-pelting by groups and police used batons and teargas in response to the situation, according to reports.

State Minister Rajendra Singh Yadav said that more than 50 people have been arrested.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot tweeted a call for brotherhood and peace.

“While respecting the tradition of love and brotherhood of Jodhpur, Marwar, I make a touching appeal to all the parties to maintain peace and cooperate in restoring law and order,” he said.

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India News

97 arrested; curfew imposed after Eid violence in Jodhpur

The police cane-charged the miscreants, fired tear gas shells and dispersed the mob…reports Asian Lite News

At least 97 people have been arrested in connection with the clashes that broke out between two groups in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur on Monday night and continued on Tuesday following which Internet services were suspended while curfew was clamped in 10 police station areas.

The Divisional Commissioner on Tuesday suspended Internet services in the entire Jodhpur district (including Jodhpur Commissionerate) with an aim to maintain peace and cordial atmosphere and curb rumours.

According to the order issued by the Divisional Commissioner Himanshu Gupta: “2G/3G/4G/data (mobile Internet), Bulk SMS, MMS/WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and other social media (Voice calls, Broadband Internet, Lease through Internet Service Provider) Internet services, except lines, have been suspended. This restriction will continue till further orders.”

The clashes had first erupted late Monday night.

The violence began after some people were raising flags at the Jalori Gate intersection around 11.30 p.m. on Monday. A person making a video of this was beaten up by some youth. When some people came to his rescue, they beat them also. After this, the other group started throwing stones. Deputy Commissioner of Police East and Udaymandir SHO were injured in the stone pelting.

The violence erupted again on Tuesday morning at the Jalori Gate over the unfurling of a flag. The police cane-charged the miscreants, fired tear gas shells and dispersed the mob.

In view of the tense situation, curfew was imposed in 10 police station areas.

Meanwhile, the Police Commissionerate has issued a partially amended order which says that students appearing in various school examinations, competitive examinations, teachers and staff engaged in examination work will be allowed to move during the curfew.

Medical emergency services, medical staff, bank employees, officials related to judicial services, employees, journalists and media persons would require to show identity cards or documents.

If necessary in special circumstances, the concerned Assistant Commissioner of Police would be able to grant permission to go out in the curfew.

Rest of the orders will remain the same.

ADG Law and Order Hawa Singh Ghumaria told that strict adherence to curfew in Jodhpur is being maintained.

Around 1,000 police personnel have been deployed in the district and every incident — small or big — is being closely monitored, he added.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot directed the police and the administration to identify the anti-social elements responsible for the incidents that disturb communal harmony and brotherhood, and take stern action against them. He termed the incident in Jodhpur unfortunate.

Addressing a high-level meeting at the Chief Minister’s Office on Tuesday, he said that a criminal, irrespective of religion, caste or class, must not be spared if found to be involved in criminal activities and appealed to the general public to maintain peace.

He directed Home Minister Rajendra Singh Yadav, Minister in-charge of Jodhpur Subhash Garg, Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Abhay Kumar and Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Hawa Singh Ghumaria to immediately rush to Jodhpur.

ALSO READ-Hamdan performs Eid Al Fitr prayer at Zabeel Grand Mosque

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India News Karnataka

Karnataka tense, 15 held for violence over hijab

Meanwhile, some Hindu organisations have given a call for bandh in the Banahatti town in Bagalkot district to condemn the violence…reports Asian Lite News

Tense situation continued in Karnataka in the backdrop of incidents of violence reported due to the hijab row. The police have arrested 15 persons so far.

In spite of curfew orders in Shivamogga district, the NSUI members on Wednesday morning entered First Grade Degree College and PG Research Centre. They brought down the ‘Bhagva Dhwaj’ or saffron flag and hoisted the Tricolour on Wednesday morning. The police rushed to the spot and dispersed the crowd. They have secured both the flags.

Authorities have clarified that ‘Bhagva Dhwaj’ was hoisted on the empty flag post in Shivamogga college on Tuesday. They have denied that Bhagva Dhawj was hoisted after taking down Tricolour.

Meanwhile, some Hindu organisations have given a call for bandh in the Banahatti town in Bagalkot district to condemn the violence.

The police department has arrested 15 persons in connection with the violence that broke out on Tuesday and sent them to judicial custody in Shivamogga and Bagalkot districts where the hijab crisis has taken a communal turn, according to sources.

The state High Court is taking up the matter this afternoon and the bench is expected to give the ruling on wearing of hijab by evening.

The state government is holding a cabinet meeting to discuss the situation in the state. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai will take suggestions from the senior cabinet colleagues to handle the situation in the state.

Education Minister B.C. Nagesh stated on Wednesday that action will be initiated against people who are behind raking up hijab row in the state. Only a few students are demanding hijab, they are not even listening to their own community leaders. In spite of the protests relating to hijab, the attendance of the students has not fallen.”

Araga Jnanedra, state Home Minister said that there is an attempt to ignite fire on the hijab row. He stated that arrests have been made in connection with the violence and he would share the details later.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai discussed the developments in the High Court this morning with Advocate General Prabhuling Navada. The CM was also briefed about the situation in the state by Education Minister B.C. Nagesh. State DG and IGP Praveen Sood and Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant met the CM Bommai and held a meeting regarding the situation in the state.

As per the information of the Home department, confrontation and violent incidents broke out in 7 colleges of five districts in the state. The protests have been staged in 55 colleges of 19 districts in Karnataka.

Harihara police have lodged four cases regarding the violence on the hijab row. Hindu organisations have called for a bandh condemning the attack on teacher Manjunath Naik. Naik was attacked with iron rods and his condition is said to be serious. The Hindu organisations are planning to take a march from Vaibhav Theater to Tehsildar office.

ALSO READ-DAILY BRIEF: Malala weighs in on Indian Hijab row, and Pakistani farmers announce protests

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-Top News Asia News

Violence rebounds in Pakistan

Compared to the last year’s fatalities, all regions except ICT and GB suffered an exponential surge in violence with Balochistan accounting for a net 80 per cent increase in violence-related fatalities…writes Sanjeev Sharma

After a consistent decline since 2015, violence in Pakistan increased by an alarming 42 per cent in 2021, according to the Center for Research and Security Studies Annual Security Report 2021.

Violence related casualties in Pakistan declined at a steady rate since 2015, plateaued somewhat in the year prior, but seem to have accelerated dramatically in 2021 again, the Islamabad think tank said.

With an increase of roughly 42 per cent in 2021, Pakistan suffered 853 fatalities (up from 600 last year), and 1,690 injuries, directly linked to violence-related incidents.

Nearly 75 per cent of all violence-related fatalities were recorded from two provinces – KP (including FATA) and Balochistan. Of the total fatalities from violence in the country, Punjab province accounted for 8 per cent, followed by Sindh.

Compared to the last year’s fatalities, all regions except ICT and GB suffered an exponential surge in violence with Balochistan accounting for a net 80 per cent increase in violence-related fatalities.

Pic credits ANI

Commensurately, both security operations and terror attacks increased this year. A total of 146 security operations were carried out during this year leaving 298 outlaws dead – a rise of more than 40 per cent against the last year’s figures.

In contrast, there were 403 terror attacks compared to last year’s 260 attacks. Four suicide attacks took place this year that left 20 persons dead as compared to two suicide attacks in last year that took 10 lives.

An alarming upsurge of over 41 per cent was observed this year in the fatalities of Pakistan security personnel, the think tank said.

Last year, there was a decline of 18 per cent in security personnel’s fatalities. Outlaws (including militants, insurgents, and criminals) suffered a 26.5 per cent increase in fatalities while the civilians accounted for the largest number of the victims of violence. As a whole, the combined losses of civilian and security personnel’s lives were 74 per cent of the total fatalities while the outlaws, the main perpetrators of violence, had suffered one fourth of the total fatalities – a rise of militancy that can be attributed to the success of the Taliban in Afghan that had bolstered the morale of Pakistani militants operating from within and outside of the country, the report said.

Afghan militants and even a member of the Afghan Taliban were reported to have been involved in violence in Pakistan that left 15 persons dead.

Mob violence brought about by Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) protests resulted in the deaths of 13 people with another 1,056 persons wounded, mostly policemen. Inspired by the TLP protests, some teenagers also took the law into their hands and carried out violent attacks in the name of religion. One teenager killed an Ahmadi homeopathic doctor in Bazidkhel area of Peshawar and two others wounded an Ahmadi Head Master in Layyah chanting slogan of ‘Labbaik ya Rasul Allah’.

ALSO READ: ‘This is New Pakistan?’: Imran’s ex-wife escapes gun attack in Islamabad

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-Top News Bangladesh India News

ATTACKS ON HINDUS: A conspiracy to damage India-Bangladesh relations?

The religious fundamentalists, who failed to create a country based on religion in 1971, are now out to achieve their goals by creating communal unrest. These Pakistan inspired Islamic fundamentalists are instigating religious sentiment of common Bangladeshi people by spreading false propaganda via social media. The root causes behind all the attacks were to thwart dissent, freedom and secularism … A special report by Asian Lite News

This year’s onset of Durga Puja witnessed large-scale violence against the minority Hindu community in Bangladesh by radical Islamists. Hindus are being persecuted all over Bangladesh and Hindu temples are being destroyed by frenzied mobs of radical Islamists.

Puja mandapas were attacked all over Bangladesh during this Durga Puja. Radical Islamic zealots ran amok, vandalising Hindu idols, temples and shops in Chandpur, Chattogram, Munshiganj, Noakhali, Sylhet, Moulvibazar, Kishoreganj, Kurigram, Rangpur and other districts. The violence and attacks on the Hindu community took place following false reports of “demeaning the Holy Quran”, at a time when the community was in the midst of celebrating Durga Puja.

One temple after another is being set on fire. Massive disturbances took place in Chaumuhani College Road in Noakhali. Trishul, Mangala, Navadurga, Vijaya Pandel & Kotbari temples were set on fire. Homes of Hindus are being attacked,vandalised and burned. SriSri Lakshmi Narayan Jiu Tagore in Hajiganj-Chandpur district, puja mandapa of JM Sen Hall in Chittagong district, Hari temple of Lama in Bandarban district, Durga Puja mandapa on the banks of Nanua Dighi in Kumilla district and many other Hindu places of worship were attacked by violent Jihadi mobs. Manik Saha, publicity secretary of Chandpur district branch of Bangladesh National Hindu Youth Grand Alliance, was killed while guarding the puja mandapa.

Pic credit ANI

An insane jihadi group gang-raped a Hindu mother, daughter and mother’s sister’s daughter in Hajiganj, Chandpur district of Bangladesh on October 13 during Durga Puja. The 10-year-old Hindu girl who was gang-raped died the next morning and her mother’s condition is very critical. On the afternoon of October 15, Jatan Saha was beaten to death when Hindu temples in Noakhali’s Begumganj upazila were attacked.

On the night of 17 October, a jihadi group vandalized the Shitla idol of Shitala temple in Jotdaibaki village of Lalpur union of Lalpur police station in Natore district of Bangladesh. Thousands of local jihadi groups set fire to and looted over 60 Hindu houses and temples in two villages, including Bot Bazar Majhipara in Ramnathpur union of Pirganj upazila in Rangpur district of Bangladesh, over the night of October 17-18, spreading rumours of insult to Islam.

After Rangpur, on 19 October the jihadis set fire to the house of a poor hindu man named Parimal at Darar Hat in Debiduba Union of Debiganj Upazila in Panchagarh District of Bangladesh. These are just a few incidents. Throughout Bangladesh radical Islamists have created an environment of fear for Hindu minority community.

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Transparency International Bangladesh in a statement slammed the failure of law enforcers in fending off attackers at various parts of the country. “We saw that hundreds of cases were filed across the country, accusing thousands… but the real perpetrators are not being identified, and officials are not rising above the clichéd political blame games. The real perpetrators remain behind the scene, while communal violence continues.” Several groups are trying to destroy the existing communal harmony in Bangladesh by spreading propaganda and carrying out provocative campaigns.

Pic credit ANI

It is known that in all the incidents of violent attacks, the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami named Islami Chhatra Shibir is the main perpetrators. Their ranks are swelled by the members of the Hefazat-e-Islam, the Qawmi madrasa-based organisation which has unleashed havoc in many areas of Bangladesh with their religious intolerance.

In some cases the local activists of the Awami League and its student wing Bangladesh Chhatra League tried to resist the attackers. Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), a Bangladeshi human rights organization that documents attacks on minority communities, estimates over 3,600 attacks targeting Hindus have taken place in Bangladesh since 2013 Minister of Home Affairs of Bangladesh Asaduzzaman Khan has termed the attacks on Durga Puja pavilions as ‘pre-planned’ and said these attacks were aimed at destroying the communal harmony in Bangladesh.

“It appears to us that it was a motivated act instigated by a vested group”, he added. The perpetrators of these attacks are the ideological ancestors of the defeated forces in the Liberation War, the morally bankrupt country Pakistan.

“The religious fundamentalists, who failed to create a country based on religion in 1971, are now out to achieve their goals by creating communal unrest. These Pakistan inspired Islamic fundamentalists are instigating religious sentiment of common Bangladeshi people by spreading false propaganda via social media. The root causes behind all the attacks were to thwart dissent, freedom and secularism. This recent wave of violence confirms the danger indigenous Hindus continue to face in Bangladesh. Fifty years after nearly 2.8 million of them were killed and another 10 million of them turned destitute and made to become refugees by the Pakistan Army in 1971, during the independence struggle of Bangladesh, Hindus continue to be targeted for their faith.”

In a tweet, Bangladesh Hindu Unity Council (BHUC) informed, “At present Hindus are being attacked in Pirganj of Rangpur. Attacks on Hindus continue across the country. If this continues, it will be difficult for Hindus to survive in Bangladesh.” Utsav Chakrabarti,

Executive Director of HinduPACT, a US-based Hindu advocacy group says, “It is especially horrifying to see the last remaining Hindus in Noakhali being attacked in this way, 75 years after Islamists demanding the creation of Pakistan, killed 12,000 Hindus and forcibly converted 50,000 to Islam in October 1946.”

According to Rana Dasgupta, general secretary of Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Oikya Parishad, the attacks on religious minorities, their temples, houses and businesses are parts of a blueprint to force them to leave the country.

Mia Seppo, the UN resident coordinator in Bangladesh, has also called upon the Bangladeshi government to ensure the protection of minorities and an impartial probe into the incidents.

Religious unrest poses a challenge to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League, which has always portrayed itself as secular and minority-friendly, especially since becoming Bangladesh’s ruling party in 2009.

The ratio of Hindu people in Bangladesh has decreased to 8.5 percent from 29.7 percent of the total population in the country. Even after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s assurance and the large deployment of security personnel, reports of attacks have continued coming in. Throughout Bangladesh the situation remains tense.

ALSO READ: Former B’desh minister rules out Hindu-Muslim tensions

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-Top News Bangladesh India News

Hefazat leader detained for violence during Modi’s Dhaka visit

Rafiquee was arrested in connection with the ongoing investigation of March 26 violence in Dhaka…reports Asian Lite News

The Detective Branch of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) has arrested Rezwan Rafiquee, a leader of the militant outfit Hefazat-e-Islam, for his alleged role in the widespread violence that was witnessed in Dhaka during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh in March this year.

Rafiquee was arrested from Dhaka’s Mugda area on Friday night, the police said.

Rafiquee has been shown arrested in the case filed with the Paltan police station in connection with the March 26 violence in Dhaka, centering around Narendra Modi’s visit, said A.K.M. Hafiz Akhter, Additional Commissioner of the Detective Branch.

Akhter said that Rezwan sent out provocative posts on Facebook and other social media platforms supporting top milirant leaders.

Iftekhairul Islam, Additional Deputy Commissioner of DMP’s media and public relations department, confirmed the matter with IANS on Saturday.

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-Top News Afghanistan Asia News

G7 urges Taliban to hold their commitments on civilians’ safety

G7 called for the Taliban to guarantee safe passage to foreign nationals and Afghans wanting to leave and are doing everything possible to evacuate vulnerable persons from Kabul airport, reports Asian Lite News

The G7 ministers on Thursday underlined the importance of the Taliban holding to their commitments to ensure the protection of civilians and expressed their concerns by reports of violent reprisals in parts of Afghanistan, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement on Thursday.

Raad chaired a call of G7 Foreign and Development Ministers from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States of America, as well as the High Representative of the European Union to discuss the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.

G7 Ministers stated that the crisis in Afghanistan requires an international response including intensive engagement on the critical questions facing Afghanistan and the region: with the Afghans most affected, parties to the conflict, the UN Security Council, the G20, international donors, and with Afghanistan’s regional neighbours.

Raab also said that the G7 called for the Taliban to guarantee safe passage to foreign nationals and Afghans wanting to leave and are doing everything possible to evacuate vulnerable persons from Kabul airport.

Afghanistan’s future is hanging in balance as the country’s government collapsed on Sunday soon after president Ashraf Ghani fled Kabul. The Taliban entered the presidential palace in the Afghan capital on Sunday and declared its victory over the government.

Efforts are being made to maintain stability in Afghanistan. However, thousands of people are rushing to the airport to flee the nation as they are afraid of the terror group’s brutal atrocities in the nation.

G7 ministers have also vowed to engage with partners in the coming days and weeks to seek to secure an inclusive political settlement, enable life-saving humanitarian assistance and support in Afghanistan and the region, and prevent any further loss of life in Afghanistan and to the international community from terrorism.

Taliban beating people with guns

The Taliban were firing into the air and beating people with AK-47 to stop them from entering the airport despite having the required documents, a media report said.

“It’s a complete disaster. The Taliban were firing into the air, pushing people, beating them with AK47s,” Radio New Zealand (RNZ) quoted a person as saying who was trying to get through.

“Everyone wants out,” said a member of an Afghan family after it arrived in Germany. “Every day is worse than the day before. We saved ourselves but we couldn’t rescue our families,” RNZ reported.

Countries from all across the world have been evacuating their citizens fastly as Afghanistan’s future is hanging in balance. The US State Department on Thursday said that it has airlifted more than 7,000 evacuees since Saturday.

After Kabul fell to the Taliban and the terror group announced its victory over the government. People in Afghanistan have been in rush to flee the nation as they believe the terror group’s older regime — 1996 to 2001– is set to come back and they would face severe persecution of human rights.

However, the Taliban maintain that they would respect human rights and would allow women to have freedom in the nation.

In the first presser in the capital city after the siege of Afghanistan, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid assured that the group is committed to providing women with their rights based on Islam.

“Taliban are committed to providing women with their rights based on Islam. Women can work in the health sector and other sectors where they are needed. There will be no discrimination against women.”

Mujahid also said they have pardoned everyone and will not take revenge against anyone, including former military members and those who worked with the foreign forces. (ANI)

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-Top News COVID-19 EU News

Violence against LGBTI people increased during Covid: EU

He stressed that every human being is born free and equal and reaffirmed the EU’s strong commitment to defend and promote human rights, including for LGBTI people, reports dpa news agency…reports Asian Lite News.

The European Union’s (EU) foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell has highlighted the worsening situation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has led to even higher levels of violence and discrimination against LGBTI persons, including domestic violence, hate speech online and offline, and hate crimes,” the 74-year-old said on Sunday ahead of Monday’s International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

He stressed that every human being is born free and equal and reaffirmed the EU’s strong commitment to defend and promote human rights, including for LGBTI people, reports dpa news agency.

He said he was concerned that 69 countries criminalised loving relationships between people of the same sex and 11 countries even threatened the death penalty.

“The EU will continue to address discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, highlighting the vulnerable situation of LGBTI persons in the Covid-19 recovery and calling for fairer, more inclusive and sustainable society,” Borrell said in the statement.

The International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is observed every year on May 17.

In March, the European Parliament had adopted a resolution declaring the entire 27-member European Union as a “LGBTIQ Freedom Zone”.

The symbolic resolution was passed in response to local authorities in Poland labelling themselves “LGBT ideology-free zones” in recent years.

The members of the European Parliament also highlighted that LGBTIQ-free zones are part of a broader context in which the community in Poland is subject to increased discrimination and attacks, notably growing hate speech.

Although the Commission rejected applications for EU funding under its town-twinning programme from Polish towns that adopted such resolutions, MEPs urge the institution to go further.

The Commission should use all tools, they say, including infringement procedures, Article 7 of the Treaty on EU, as well as the recently adopted regulation on protecting the EU’s budget, in order to address violations of the fundamental rights of LGBTIQ people in the EU.

Same-sex relationships are not legally recognised in Poland, and the country already bans same-sex couples from adopting children together.

However, as single people are permitted to adopt, some have managed to get around the ban by applying to adopt as single parents, according to BBC report.

Under the new law, authorities will be required to perform background checks on anyone applying to adopt a child as a single parent.

If a person is found to be applying as a single parent when they are in a same-sex relationship, they will be criminally liable.

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