Taliban are enforcing their rule with a vengeance, veteran correspondent warns
Veteran Afghanistan correspondent Lynne O’Donnell says she has never seen the Taliban more brutal or the millions of people the austere fighters again govern
Veteran Afghanistan correspondent Lynne O’Donnell says she has never seen the Taliban more brutal or the millions of people the austere fighters again govern more wretched.
“I really never expected to find it as bad and as awful as I did. It’s a very very sad, unhappy, traumatized, depressed place,” she said after revealing she was forced to retract hard-hitting reports on the fundamentalist Islamic group.
“They’re worse,” she said, commenting on the changes in the Taliban since their first time in power more than 20 years ago.
The Australian journalist was speaking during a phone interview after being ejected from Afghanistan after just four days in the capital, Kabul. The account of her experiences there garnered widespread attention after she was visited by Taliban intelligence officers who she says brought her to their headquarters July 19 and demanded she give up her sources for previous reports.
O’Donnell said she was held in a messy office, where the four officers wanted her to apologize for her work from 2021, focusing on reports on members of the Afghan LGBTQ community and on minors being forced into a life of sexual servitude to Taliban members.