Taliban Releases 2 US Prisoners

On Tuesday, the US State Dept. announced that the Taliban had released two US nationals who had been detained in Afghanistan.

Taliban Releases 2 US Prisoners
Image credit: AP [via Al Jazeera]

Facts

  • On Tuesday, the US State Dept. announced that the Taliban had released two US nationals who had been detained in Afghanistan.
  • According to State Dept. spokesman Ned Price, the releases were a “goodwill gesture” that didn't include the exchange of funds or a prisoner swap.
  • Although the identities of the two Americans haven't been publicly revealed, sources familiar with the matter claim that one is filmmaker Ivor Shearer, who was arrested along with his Afghan producer Faizullah Faizbakhsh in August.
  • The releases came the same day the Taliban banned women from attending university — a move condemned by the UN and the international community — and as the UN Security Council convened a meeting to discuss Afghanistan.
  • The Taliban has been implementing other strict rules since its takeover in August 2021, including requiring women to fully cover themselves in public and banning them from many government jobs.
  • The two Americans arrived in Qatar on Tuesday, and the State Dept. said they would be provided “with all appropriate assistance."

Sources: NBC, FOX News, CNN, Guardian , and Al Jazeera.

Narratives

  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Washington Post. In a clear attempt to create a cushion in the aftermath of its latest assault on women's rights, the Taliban is seeking to appease the US. A futile move that won't distract from the way it's treating women. The global community cannot recognize the Taliban as legitimate until they respect the human rights of all Afghans.
  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Khaama. The Taliban is committed to respecting women's rights as defined by the Islamic Sharia laws, not by secular customs imposed by the so-called international community. Female students will be allowed access to formal education once a decent cultural and religious environment has been created in Afghanistan.