Follow the big issues that shape Polish politics and society by signing up to our weekly newsletter "News from Poland: Democracy at Stake". It allows you to stay up to speed on developments concerning the ongoing assault on democratic institutions, rule of law, and human rights in Poland.
It only took the Taliban nine days to overthrow the US-backed government in Kabul and capture all of the country's major cities after the withdrawal of American troops. Most of the Afghan soldiers that have been trained by NATO over the past 20 years have either surrendered, fled the country, or are trying to flee it. Fearing for their lives under Taliban rule, ordinary citizens are struggling to flee across the Afghan border.
At Tuesday's press conference, the Taliban left no doubt about what Afghanistan will look like now that they have taken control. Free media? –Yes, as long as they don't criticize the Islamists and their leaders. Women’s rights? - only "in accordance with Sharia, within appropriate boundaries".
Although the Taliban claim that a bloody crackdown on American allies will not take place, there are still Afghan citizens who remember their extraordinarily violent rule in the 1990s, which ultimately ended with the American invasion in 2001.
That's why millions of people are fleeing the country. They flee because they remember that women had virtually no rights, could not study or work, and were required to wear burqas. It was forbidden to watch TV, listen to music, or use the Internet. Religious minorities were persecuted, especially Shiites and the few Christians and Hindus living in Afghanistan. People flee because they remember that under Taliban rule punishments such as stoning or cutting off hands were a daily reality all over the country. Witnesses of the cruel, public executions are still alive today.
Gliński: „We will defend Poland against refugees"
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture Piotr Gliński, who appeared as a guest on Polsat’s news program on Tuesday, commented on the deepening humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. - Any reasonable person could foresee that after the withdrawal of the American troops the Taliban would quickly take control of Afghanistan - he said. - Our role now is to provide humanitarian aid to all those in need- he emphasized.
Gliński also referred to the millions of citizens who fled the country for fear of violent Taliban rule. - We are prepared for this, we have the forces and the means - he declared when asked whether Poland would take in possible refugees. Later, he added: - It is only up to us how many people will be accepted. Poland defended itself against the wave of refugees in 2015 and it will also defend itself now. We will act responsibly, we will defend Poland - said the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture.
Every day, 400 journalists at Gazeta Wyborcza write verified, fact-checked stories about Polish politics and society, keeping a critical eye on the ruling camp’s persistent assault on democratic values and the rule of law; the growing cultural tension between religious fundamentalism and human rights; and the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic. Our journalists are on the front lines in 25 Polish cities, reporting from the streets, hospitals, and courtrooms about issues that move public opinion.
We decided to make our service available to everyone free of charge in order to provide access to high quality journalism for expats and English speakers interested in Polish affairs.
The access to information should be equal for all.
Wybierz prenumeratę, by czytać to, co Cię ciekawi
Wyborcza.pl to zawsze sprawdzone informacje, szczere wywiady, zaskakujące reportaże i porady ekspertów w sprawach, którymi żyjemy na co dzień. Do tego magazyny o książkach, historii i teksty z mediów europejskich. Zrezygnować możesz w każdej chwili.