9 September, 2021
The Human Security Centre has commented further on the situation in Afghanistan in the media and provided briefings for political leaders, with efforts led by Afghan-born Associate Fellow Roh Yakobi.
On 16 August, Roh spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss his views on the Taliban takeover. On the issue of the risks those in his former village, he said that “It became more real last night when I had that text from a prominent journalist friend, saying that the Taliban had begun going door to door”, adding that ““I received a chilling video this morning, the Taliban had gathered my community in a mosque, the commanders addressing people with threatening gestures.”
Discussing his experiences on The Tortoise Podcast on 23 August with presenter Basia Cummings, Roh gave an in-depth overview of his experiences with and escaping the Taliban.
Speaking to the Daily Mail on 1 September, Roh discussed his own experiences fleeing from the Taliban as a child, and the likely fate that awaited those still in Afghanistan. Noting that “’The dark reality of becoming a refugee is that… you may survive as a living person, but you will be wounded both psychotically and physically with scars that last for life”, he also warned “Those who have been working with British forces… the question of whether we should be letting them in shouldn’t really be asked… They risked their lives for it.”
In conversation on The Political Party Podcast, Roh gave an emotional overview of his experiences, and the despair for his family and friends, particularly his female cousin, now that the Taliban are back in control. He also provided a harsh critique of the Wester foreign policy approach that had led Afghanistan to this point.
On 7 September, Roh met with UK opposition and Labour Party leader Kier Starmer (image above) to brief him on the situation in Afghanistan.