Rare goat species discovery in Afghanistan


This 2016 video from Pakistan says about itself:

Markhor (national animal of Pakistan) video

in this video you will see markhor in the wild. Markhor live in the mountain and cold weather areas of Pakistan. … People hunt them and now the markhor species is in danger. If the government will not not take steps against the hunting of markhor, then soon this animal will be no more in Pakistan. …

In Pakistan, markhor hunting is still legal. The government should stop the hunting of markhor, people come from other countries for markhor trophy hunting.

From the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in the USA:

Ecologists report sighting rare wild goat species in Afghanistan

September 14, 2018

Based on field surveys in northern Afghanistan, Zalmai Moheb, an ecologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Afghanistan Program and a doctoral candidate in environmental conservation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with others, report this week that they have for the first time documented by direct observation the presence of two rare Asian wild goat species in the country.

The species, both of concern to conservationists, are the markhor (Capra falconeri) or screw-horned goat, and the Siberian ibex (Capra sibirica), which occur in several countries. Both have been reported in Afghanistan, but few studies have been made there in recent years and their distribution is largely unknown, Moheb points out.

The report of field surveys he and colleagues conducted from July to October 2011 has just been published in the annual newsletter of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Caprinae Specialist Group.

Moheb and colleagues report that they directly observed markhor and ibex on the Afghan side of the Amu Darva River, the border with Tajikistan, for the first time in the Shahr-e Buzurg district and the Darwaz region, plus indirect field evidence and local community reports.

They say, “The strip of land along the Amu Darya River from western Darwaz to Shahr-e Buzurg district through Khawahan and Raghistan districts should be a priority site for future markhor and ibex conservation in Afghanistan. If protection measures are taken, this area along with the adjacent protected area in Tajikistan, could act as valuable and viable refuge for sustaining markhor and other wild species that inhabit the region.”

Moheb and co-authors Said Naqibullah Mostafawi and Peter Zahler, with the Wildlife Conservation Society at the time of the survey, plus his advisor at UMass Amherst professor Todd Fuller, point out that the animals are “nominally protected” from hunting, but both species are most likely hunted throughout their range by local tribesmen. Zahler is now vice president of conservation initiatives at Woodland Park Zoo, Washington, D.C. and Mostafawi is now a free-lance consultant.

For this work, the research ecologists surveyed a strip of shrubby scrubland along the Amu Darya River in four districts of Afghanistan’s northern Badakhshan Province. They visited 46 villages and four field sites, most in valleys, over 115 square miles (300 sq. km) in Shahr-e Buzurg and 770 square miles (1,997 sq. km) in the Darwaz region. They also interviewed and showed photographs to village headmen, hunters and shepherds believed to be the most knowledgeable about local wildlife.

They also visited potential markhor and ibex habitats suggested by sources using experienced local hunters as field guides to confirm animals in the area. In Shahr-e Buzurg the ecologists report 41 of 67 respondents, 61 percent, said that markhor were present and once abundant, but numbers have declined and few remain. The researchers themselves saw four markhor in the Payan-e Moor area and local hunters said they thought about 20 markhor were in the area. They also found horns and markhor skins.

In the Darwaz region, the researchers report that 37 percent, 15 of 40 respondents said markhor existed in the western part of the district, and the researchers themselves saw six animals and four pairs of markhor horns. Further, 56 percent of respondents, 74 or 131, said that ibex occurs in some parts of the region and showed them skin and horns.

Overall, the ecologists say markhor populations in Shahr-e Buzurg are believed to be small and may only survive due to animals coming in from Tajikistan. Markhor populations in Leiwgard in the Kof Ab district of Darwas appear “larger and more stable”, though still linked to nearby Tajik populations.

“We suspect that when water level drops in the river during winter, markhor could move between both areas,” the authors note. “The remoteness of Leiwgard is likely the primary reason that markhor and ibex still exist in this area.” Leiwgard is home to roughly 80 markhor, sources said, along with ibex, brown bear and snow leopards.

Local sources also reported that markhor and ibex share the same area, but markhor prefer lower elevations and steep cliffs, while ibex like higher elevations with colder environments. “This, if true, is one of the very few areas where these two caprid species overlap”, the researchers note.

Moheb and colleagues urge taking several conservation management actions to assist markhor and biodiversity in the area, in particular along the Amu Darya River. “This area is a priority for future markhor conservation and for other endangered wildlife such as snow leopard. The area has the advantage of being connected to the M-Sayod Conservancy on the Tajik side of the border, and so efforts could be combined between Afghanistan and Tajikistan to promote conservation in the larger area”, they point out. Coordinating conservation efforts could preserve unique habitats and endangered wildlife, they add.

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Xenophobic homophobia in Austria


This video says about itself:

Austria: ‘Let us stay!’ – Afghan asylum-seekers march against deportations in Vienna

20 May 2017

Hundreds marched against the deportation of asylum-seekers to Afghanistan, on the streets of Vienna on Saturday, under the motto “Afghanistan is not safe, let us stay.”

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

AUSTRIA: An immigration official has been disciplined for “linguistic lapses” after rejecting an Afghan man’s application for asylum on grounds of homosexuality.

Homosexuality is illegal in Afghanistan and those who murder gay people can use the victim’s sexuality as a mitigating factor, making it an “honour killing” with reduced penalties.

The Austrian official told the applicant that “neither the way you walk, nor your behaviour, nor your clothes even slightly suggested you might be homosexual.”

Right-wing Austrian bureaucrats may not know, but: LGBTQ people, like straight people, walk with two legs. Like with straight people, there are very big individual differences in behaviour among LGBTQ people. Like with straight people, there are big differences in ways LGBTQ people dress.

Dutch bureaucrat doubted whether gay refugee was gay, as ‘he had a beard’.

Austria calls on EU to get Egypt to block flow of refugees: here.

Swedish airline passenger stops deportation of Afghan refugee


Translated from Dutch site Joop.nl today:

Female aircraft passenger prevents deportation of man to Afghanistan

A young Swedish woman has been able to prevent the deportation of a 52-year-old man to Afghanistan with a both courageous and simple action. She was on board a passenger plane ready to depart from Gothenburg to Istanbul. Among the passengers was also a man who was to be expelled by the Swedish immigration service to Afghanistan. Elin Ersson did not want to accept that cruelty. “In Afghanistan, it’s war and this man is going to die.” She stood in the aisle and started a Facebook live stream that was followed by large numbers of people soon.

Elin films herself because she wants to respect the privacy of the other passengers. She tells that she does nothing illegal, but she will stay in the aisle until the man will be taken off the plane. She does not want anyone to be sent to hell, she says. “As long as I stand here, the plane can not leave. I hope other passengers will follow my example.”

In the plane, tension arises. A Brit starts to barrack her and says she is frightening children. She answers that man’s life is now more important. The Brit takes away her phone but that theft is undone by a steward who returns her phone. She is also constantly ordered to turn off her device, but Elin knows that the live stream is her rescue. She has a picture of a boy who would initially be deported, but it turns out that he was replaced by the 52-year-old man.

At 7:30 a Turkish man declares himself to be in solidarity with her. Elin sheds tears of joy. Applause sounds. A little later, a football team follows her example. And after that more people stand up.

Eventually, the Afghan is taken off the plane. Elin follows him. A while later, she reports that the deportation has been canceled. She does not know more.

Ms Ersson is a 22-year-old student.

She did this after pro-refugee actions by German pilots and Israeli pilots. One should hope Swedish police will not arrest her for her courageous humanitarianism.

Elin deserves the Nobel Peace Prize far more than others awarded that prize.

The president of the USA should invite Ms Ersson to the White House and present her with the Medal of Freedom, which she deserves so far more than other awardees of that medal … oh, wait a minute, the president of the USA is Donald Trump, who has refugees from bloody wars deported still more cruelly.

Swedish student who stopped Afghan asylum seeker’s deportation by refusing to sit down on plane could face prison: here.

A video of a student in Sweden halting the deportation of an Afghan man has gone viral, having been viewed by more than two million people. It reveals a broad wave of revulsion at the treatment of refugees: here.

Dutch deportation of child, parents to Afghan war: here.

German minister’s ‘joke’ on forcibly returned suicided Afghan refugee


This video from Germany says about itself:

Horst Seehofer faces calls to resign after deportee suicide | DW | 11.07.2018

It’s a joke that may come back to haunt Horst Seehofer. On Tuesday, while presenting his so-called master plan for migration, the interior minister crowed: “It just so happens that on my 69th birthday, without any orders from me, 69 people were sent back to Afghanistan.”

Little did Seehofer know when he made this remarks that one of those people had hung himself in a temporary camp in the Afghan capital some hours before. The 23-year-old Afghan Jamal Nasser Mahmoudi’s suicide was announced by Seehofer’s own Interior Ministry on Wednesday and confirmed by refugee workers in Afghanistan.

‘Little did Seehofer know’; is that true? The refugee’s suicide was probably before Tuesday 10 July; Seehofer’s ‘joke’ was late on the 10 July 2018 afternoon.

… Seehofer, who is also the leader of the Bavarian conservative CSU party, was already a controversial figure in Germany after leading opposition to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s welcoming policy toward migrants. Many feared his rebellion could bring down the government. The governmental crisis was defused last week thanks to a compromise with Merkel’s CDU and their junior coalition partners, the Social Democrats (SPD).

Seehofer’s approval ratings plummeted because of that public spat, and now voices demanding that he go are growing ever louder – even within the governing coalition.

SPD members tweet outrage

Some Social Democrats, already irritated by what they consider the Interior Minister’s posturing, took to social media to call upon him to stand down. “Host Seehofer is a pathetic cynic and unequal to his office in terms of character”, wrote the influential leader of the SPD youth wing, Kevin Kühnert, on Twitter. “His resignation [is] overdue. Anyone home, coalition?”

The SPD chapter in Germany’s most populous federal state, North Rhine–Westphalia, concurred, tweeting: “An Interior Minister so lacking in humanity damages our democracy to which we owe so much.” And Berlin SPD member of the Bundestag Cansel Kiziltepe called upon to German Chancellor to dismiss her interior minister. “Cynical, inhumane and misanthropic!” tweeted Cansel Kiziltepe. “Seehofer has human lives on his conscience and can no longer be tolerated as a minister, Mrs. Merkel!”

Seehofer has made himself into a burden for the grand coalition

Opposition fury at ‘constitutional minister’

The chairman of center-right Free Democrats in the state of Rhineland Palatinate, Volker Wissing, tweeted: “As interior minister, Horst Seehofer is also the constitution minister and as such the guardian of free democratic fundamental order and our values. He has conclusively shown that he is not up to the challenge.”

“An interior minister who publicly expresses his happiness at people being sent back to a country at war not only obviously lacks basic human sympathy, but also the qualifications for the job”, Left Party Internal Affairs Spokeswoman Ulla Jelpke wrote in a statement on her website. “In my opinion, Seehofer deserves to be fired.”

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

‘Joke’ by German minister about expelled Afghans criticized

“I did not order it like that, but on the occasion of my 69th birthday 69 people were sent back to Afghanistan”, said the German minister of Home Affairs Seehofer, smiling, yesterday. Today that remark and smile are criticized strongly. One of the 69 expelled Afghans committed suicide shortly after his forced return to Kabul.

According to a human rights organization, he was a 23-year=-old asylum seeker who had gone to Germany as a minor eight years ago. Eventually, his asylum application was rejected and he was expelled along with 68 other Afghans.

Seehofer was very pleased with that, he said yesterday while laughing, especially because the majority of the expelled Afghans came from his CSU political party ‘home state’ Bavaria. In the coalition with sister party CDU of Federal Chancellor Merkel, Seehofer fought a fierce battle over migration policy. The CSU wants a much stricter admission policy than Merkel her supporters, … in the hope of taking votes from the anti-immigration [neo-fascist] AfD party [in the Bavarian election soon].

Call for resignation

His mirth about his ‘birthday present’ led to much criticism of him on social media, now that it has become clear that one of the expelled Afghans has committed suicide. There are calls for Seehofer to resign, including from the youth section of the social-democratic SPD, the coalition partner of CDU-CSU in the Berlin coaltion government.

Seehofer himself has not yet responded in public.

Afghanistan conflict: Civilian deaths hit record high, says UN: here.

‘Stop deporting refugees to Afghan war’


This video says about itself:

Desperate journeys: Afghan refugee children suffer from malnutrition

4 November 2016

Aid workers in Greece are increasingly concerned about Afghan refugees who are hiding from the police. They’re refusing to go into official camps, because they’re worried they’ll be deported under a deal between the European Union and Afghanistan.

Some refugee children are suffering from malnutrition.

Al Jazeera’s Laurence Lee reports from the Greece-Macedonia border.

From Dutch NOS TV, 15 June 2018:

Afghanistan unsafe, NGOs argue against deportation of refugees

Large parts of Afghanistan are unstable and unsafe, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs writes in an official report. This is important for the immigration authorities’ assessment of asylum applications by Afghans. …

Corruption, a climate of impunity, ineffective government and a weak constitutional state combined with the often unsafe situation mean that the Afghan authorities are generally not able to protect the population against violence”, says the report.

Irresponsible

Twelve human rights and children’s rights organizations, so-called NGOs, want the Netherlands to stop deporting refugees to Afghanistan, they emphasize in response to the report. “It is irresponsible to continue with the deportations.”

“This puts many lives, including those of children, at great risk,” says director of the Dutch Council for Refugees Dorine Manson on behalf of the twelve organizations. They includes Unicef ​​Netherlands, Oxfam Novib and Save the Children. A third of the victims of last year’s attacks were children.

Nearly two-thirds of asylum applications by Afghans were rejected last year. The Netherlands is therefore harsh compared to other countries in Europe. The European average is just over half.

Australian occupiers’ nazi flag in Afghanistan


A source of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation within the Australian Defence Department for this news claimed the flag was up for a “prolonged period”.

This Australian army in Afghanistan incident is not the only nazi incident in the occupation of Afghanistan.

In 2011, it turned out that Australian neonazi Kenneth Stewart was an Afghan occupation mercenary.

British soldiers' nazi salutes in Afghanistan

As if nazi infiltration in the United States armed forcesGolden Dawn Greek nazis present in the Greek armed forces … African-hating racist officers in the German armyCzech nazi officers in the NATO occupation forces in Afghanistan are not already more than enough; in 2013, this photo of British armed forces in Afghanistan doing the nazi salute.

So, not just in the United States armed forces, nazis (and other criminals) are welcome to help occupy Iraq and Afghanistan.

Stop the war in Afghanistan


This video from the USA says about itself:

Kathy Kelly on Afghanistan: Destitution, Unemployment & Hunger Must Be Addressed to Achieve Peace

8 June 2018

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has announced an unconditional ceasefire with the Taliban to last until June 20. The ceasefire comes after Muslim clerics in Afghanistan issued a fatwa—or religious ruling—against suicide bombings, after an attack Monday, claimed by ISIS, killed 14 people who had gathered for a clerics’ peace summit in Kabul.

This comes as the BBC is reporting that the number of bombs dropped by the U.S. Air Force has surged dramatically since President Trump announced his Afghanistan strategy and committed more troops to the conflict last August; new rules of engagement have made it easier for U.S. forces to carry out strikes … . We speak to Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, a campaign to end U.S. military and economic warfare. She has made many trips to Afghanistan and just returned from a trip this week.

This video from the USA says about itself:

As U.S. Intensifies Airstrikes in Afghanistan, Pashtun Men Stage 400-Mile Walk Calling for Peace

8 June 2018

Extended conversation with Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, a campaign to end U.S. military and economic warfare. She has made many trips to Afghanistan, and just returned from a trip this week. Kelly’s latest article for The Progressive is headlined, “Afghans, Parched for Water, March for Peace.”