Three Taliban gunmen raided a wedding in eastern Afghanistan, killing at least two people and injuring 10 others. Allegedly the deadly attack was to stop music from being played. A Taliban spokesman said two of the three gunmen had been arrested, but denied they had acted on behalf of the Islamist movement.
Although the Taliban has not yet officially issued the music decree since the United States left Afghanistan in August leaving the Taliban back in power, it is largely understood that Taliban control means music is banned. The Taliban originally implemented the rule in 1996 until 2001 when U.S. troops and allies took control from the Taliban.
One eyewitness told the BBC that four couples were getting married during a joint wedding in Surkh Rod district in the province of Nangarhar on Friday. The BBC reported they had taken permission from a local Taliban leader to play recorded music in an area used only by the women.
During late-night hours, gunmen “forced their way inside and tried to smash the loudspeakers. When the guests protested, the armed men opened fire” reports the BBC. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claims the incident is under investigation.
Many musicians immediately fled Afghanistan as the Taliban returned to power. The Taliban has already been accused of murdering a folk singer and destroying musical instruments. The Taliban is known for its militant interpretation of Islamic Law and has been deemed a terrorist organization.
Since the Biden administration left Afghanistan, the Taliban has been publicly making strategic moves to appear to be more moderate as it looks for international recognition. The Taliban has created a government with Mujahid as the spokesman and claims to be willing to engage in talks with the United States, the United Nations, and other nations.
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REPORT: China has vast network of covert police stations around the world
China has a vast network of covert police stations abroad, according to a recent report by Safeguard Defenders, an NGO that focuses on human rights violations in China and other Asian countries. These police stations serve consular functions, but are also used by China to crack down on what the CCP deems “illegal” activity of Chinese nationals abroad. The police stations include at least 38 run by the Fuzhou City police, and 22 run by the Qingtian City police. Cities housing these police stations include New York, Toronto (which has three stations), London (two), Paris (three), Buenos Aires, Rio De Janeiro, and Tokyo.
Key findings of the report are below.
“Persuaded to return”
According to China, China has “persuaded to return [to China]” 230,000 Chinese nationals living aboard from April 2021 to July 2022 alone to face charges of fraud and telecommunications fraud. A Yangxia police station set up in Mozambique, for example, persuaded a Chinese national to return to China after being accused of stealing money from his employer. Chinese authorities also put pressure on the accused family to convince the accused to surrender.
Roughly 54,000 Chinese nationals were persuaded to return from northern Myanmar alone, in the first nine months of 2021. In July 2022, the government of Wenchang City warned that its citizens living in northern Myanmar must check in with their local police stations or face multiple penalties including blocking their children from attending urban schools back in China. Similarly, in February 2022, the government of Liayang City stated that Chinese “illegally staying” in northern Myanmar must return or the bank accounts of their immediate family members could be frozen.
The Nine Forbidden Countries
China has claimed that nine countries contain serious levels of fraud and telecom fraud perpetrated by Chinese nationals. Since November 2021, China has declared that Chinese citizens living in these nine countries must return to China immediately unless they have an “emergency reason” or a “strict necessity” to travel or stay in those countries. Those countries are: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, the UAE, and Turkey. However, the report questions whether these countries are truly awash in such fraud, as most of China’s oversees police stations are in the West, and only one of the nine countries (Cambodia) has such a police station. Chinese staying in the nine forbidden countries, as well as threats to family members as stated above, creates a “guilt-by-association” atmosphere intended to repatriate the Chinese nationals.
According to the report, Chinese police stations abroad serve to bypass “bilateral extradition treaties or other mechanisms of judicial cooperation” to cooperate with CCP-linked NGOs which effectively “[sets] up an alternative policing and judicial system within third countries.” Instead of using international judicial cooperation, which establishes due process, the presumption of innocence, and the right to a fair trial, China uses the above “persuade-to-return” methods and transnational police stations to circumvent international law and coerce Chinese nationals to return to China for trials. These policies show the power of China’s long-arm oppression over its own subjects.
You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic
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