The actor said she was making her social media debut to share stories and voices of those fighting for their basic human rights.
Oscar-winning actor Angelina Jolie has joined Instagram to speak out about the plight of Afghan women and children. Jolie is an incredibly private person and had no social media presence until last week when she decided to use the platform to speak out for the people "who are fighting for their basic human rights." The actor shared a letter she received from a teenage Afghan girl worried about the future she faced, writing that "all our dreams are gone." The actor also called out America for having spent all these years spending money and time in Afghanistan before finally handing the country back to the Taliban. "It is sickening to watch Afghans being displaced yet again out of the fear and uncertainty that has gripped their country. To spend so much time and money, to have blood-shed and lives lost only to come to this, is a failure almost impossible to understand," wrote Jolie, reported CNN.
The actor and humanitarian said she wanted to use her platform to amplify their voices. "I was on the border of Afghanistan two weeks before 9/11, where I met Afghan refugees who had fled the Taliban. This was twenty years ago. This is a letter I was sent from a teenage girl in Afghanistan. Right now, the people of Afghanistan are losing their ability to communicate on social media and to express themselves freely. So I’ve come on Instagram to share their stories and the voices of those across the globe who are fighting for their basic human rights," wrote Jolie, who is a special envoy for the United Nations Refugee Agency. "Before Taliban came in ... we all had rights, we were able to defend our rights freely," read the letter. "But when they come, we are all afraid of them, and we think all our dreams are gone."
She also spoke highly of Afghans and said they were all fighting to live a life of dignity. "Watching for decades how Afghan refugees — some of the most capable people in the world — are treated like a burden is also sickening. Knowing that if they had the tools and respect, how much they would do for themselves. And meeting so many women and girls who not only wanted an education but fought for it," wrote Jolie, before adding, "Like others who are committed, I will not turn away. I will continue to look for ways to help. And I hope you’ll join me."
The actor speaks out at a time when thousands of Afghans are trying to flee the country from the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. Taliban had held power in the country from 1996 to 2001. The US attacked the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001 in response to the 9/11 attacks and has been involved in a 20-year-long war before eventually doing a deal with the Taliban and leaving the country. The Afghan army that the United States had been training to resist the Taliban fell apart in no time, resulting in the Taliban taking control of major portions of the country within a month of America withdrawing its troops.
Biden remains adamant that America made the right decision, despite the horrific images coming from Afghanistan and the airport. "If anything, the developments of the past week reinforced that ending U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan was the right decision... I stand squarely behind my decision. After 20 years, I've learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces," said Biden, reported People.
Taliban taking control of the government has already seen women journalists being targeted. "Last week I was a news journalist. Today I can’t write under my own name or say where I am from or where I am," wrote a woman journalist in The Guardian. "I am so scared and I don’t know what will happen to me. I’m not safe because I’m a 22-year-old woman and I know that the Taliban are forcing families to give their daughters as wives for their fighters. I’m also not safe because I’m a news journalist and I know the Taliban will come looking for me and all of my colleagues," she wrote.
Nearly 20 years later, as the founder of the only all-girls boarding school in Afghanistan, I’m burning my students’ records not to erase them, but to protect them and their families.— Shabana Basij-Rasikh (@sbasijrasikh) August 20, 2021
Pictures of women in public places have already been whitewashed in many parts of Afghanistan since the Taliban took control. Women who have degrees are burning them for the fear of being targeted by the Taliban. Similarly, teachers are burning records of the girl students so the Taliban do not get hold of them and target their families.