AFGHANISTAN: A prominent Afghan journalist under Wall Street Journal named Habib Khan has started to garner popularity and social media attention for his human rights advocacy in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.
He continues to trend popular Twitter hashtags like #BanTaliban and #FreeAfghanistan to bring to light the heinous atrocities of a dictatorial regime as brutal as the Taliban, which has imposed a strict crackdown on women’s rights and social independence since the militant group re-assumed authority on 15 August 2021.
Khan’s Twitter bio indicates he is the founder of a liberal, anti-Taliban news network organization named Afghan Peace Watch (APW), which enlightens the world on Afghanistan “through research, reporting, and advocacy.”
Khan’s recent tweet on the Taliban indicates that the most effective way to stop the dictatorial regime is to dismantle its social media status and propagandist network. “Banning the Taliban from Twitter means paralyzing their propaganda machine,” Khan wrote.
On October 19, he posted two tweets, signifying the importance of trending the anti-Taliban hashtags in order to weaken their power. “More than a 1,000 Taliban accounts have been suspended by @Twitter so far. #BanTaliban.”
Khan’s agenda to crush the Taliban’s social media presence on Twitter was primarily fuelled by fears that the extremist regime would use Twitter to “promote suicide bombings”, which is, ironically, a Twitter violation.
Khan’s Twitter handle is also used as a medium through which several other posts bearing the same hashtags are shared globally so that more Twitter users step up and advance the campaign.
The news network navigates the nitty-gritty elements of unrest, violence, and abuse on a routine basis in modern-day Afghanistan, which has perhaps been pushed back nearly five decades in terms of modernization, ever since the Taliban tightened the noose around the country in 2021.
The official page of the APW suggests that it is a non-profit organisation focused on “credible information and research on security, political violence, civic activism, human rights violations, humanitarian efforts and strategic developments in Afghanistan.”
The main objective of Khan’s established media network is to reinforce peace-building efforts in Afghanistan through credible and legitimate news reporting.
The organisation was established by a group of Afghans in 2020, officially registered with the Ministry of Economy under the former Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and has been documenting violence in the country since February 2020.
Despite the Taliban takeover on August 15th, 2021, which heavily compromised the liberality of free news reporting and imposed a diabolical crackdown on the news with censorship and surveillance, APW has been dedicated to providing unfiltered truth through a unique methodology.
The organisation collects data from a network of reporters nationwide, and is connected with 238 sources in all 34 provinces of the country.