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tv   Talking Business Asia  BBC News  September 6, 2022 1:30am-2:01am BST

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this is bbc news. we will have the headlines and all the main news stories for you at the top of the hour, straight after this programme. alia azizi, a policewoman in herat, has completely disappeared. she's gone missing. what do you know about that case?
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this is afghanistan, one year into taliban rule. i've come here to investigate the disappearance of a woman. under the last government, alia azizi was a successful career woman as a high—ranking prison officer. hard—won freedoms are being rolled back following the taliban's victory. women have been forced out of the workplace.
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since the taliban returned to power, the inmates she had been guarding are now running the prison. alia left work, assuming her career was over, but to her surprise, she was called back to herjob. then a month later, she disappeared. i want to find out what happened to her and what the taliban authorities are doing about it. herfamily hasn't heard from her for eight months. i visited their home in herat, western afghanistan. inaudible dialogue
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until the return of the taliban, alia had been the family's main breadwinner.
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alia's eldest son also worked at the prison, but was not called
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back by the taliban. the family reported alia missing in october. the taliban said they would investigate, but no information has come to light in eight months.
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seeing a little boy separated from his mother was absolutely gut—wrenching to watch. and for him to describe how he can't go to bed at night because he wants his mum... ..was really, really difficult to see. the fact that alia can be missing for eight months without a single bit of information as to where she has gone sends a very worrying message to other women living and working under the taliban's afghanistan. one year ago, i spoke with taliban leader suhail shaheen in doha, just before the takeover.
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he assured me that they would protect the rights of women and that the new regime would be different from what we saw in the �*90s. there was in the past some mistakes that we have learned from to stop education of women and girls. that is not our goal. of course, education is their right, and it is much needed. and when they receive education, of course they have a right to work. how has that promise turned out? that evening, i met a group of women who used to hold positions of power in the former government. but since losing theirjobs, they've shifted their attention to investigating various cases of missing women like alia azizi.
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it was becoming clear that disappearing women was not uncommon in today's afghanistan. as the activists said, there are reports of many more cases happening around the country. it's impossible to find a credible statistic on the number of women forcibly disappeared in afghanistan, mainly because the taliban have continued to deny such cases.
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when the taliban came to power, they assured the women of afghanistan that their rights would be protected under their rule. i travelled to herat central prison, the last place alia was seen, and where she has worked for the past seven years to see if they were willing to offer any information. the guards made it very clear that i was not going to be allowed into the female section, but i managed to ask some questions of the prison director. the international community is really worried about a woman who used to run that prison and was told by the taliban to come back to work, and she happily
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went back to work. but for the past eight months, she's been missing. what do you know about that case? when an employee goes missing, do you think it's the responsibility of the authorities to help track her down? some are pointing the finger of blame at the taliban for her disappearance.
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the new prison warden said the case had nothing to do with them because alia went missing after leaving the prison grounds. it didn't make any sense that she would have fled the country without telling her family or saying goodbye. after leaving the prison, somebody approached me who wanted to remain anonymous, stating that alia had been abducted by a criminal group who were hoping to release her in exchange for a ransom. i wanted to speak to her son rahmatullah to see what he made of this theory.
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rahmatullah had little choice but to rely on the taliban leaders to investigate and find his mother. to find out more, back in kabul, i arranged a meeting at the ministry of interior, which is responsible for enforcing the law and fighting crime within afghanistan.
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for the last nine months, alia azizi, a policewoman in herat, has completely disappeared. she's gone missing. can you tell me what you know about this case? we went to herat and we went to the prison where she worked, and the authorities there confirmed that she actually came to work at the prison for well over a month.
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so, you are saying that the taliban authorities in herat, they're wrong?
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the taliban prison authorities that we went to see told me that they saw her at work for well over a month. why would they tell us something different to what they've told you? whether you agree the taliban were responsible or not, you are now in power. you are the authorities here. is it not your responsibility to fact—find, investigate and try and get to the bottom of her case?
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it has become clear that there isn't much of an investigation going on. and they may have sent a few people to herat, but nothing much more was done about it. i felt it was important to take this issue higher up the chain of command in the taliban.
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during an interview over the phone, i asked the group's designated ambassador to the un, suhail shaheen. i asked him whether he felt that the investigation into alia's disappearance had been properly conducted. i think she was working in a prison, right? yes, that's right. she was working at the prison. and we spoke to the taliban commanders who are now running the prison. they said that she came to work for about a month and they saw her every day coming to work, but then she suddenly disappeared. when i spoke to the spokesperson for the interior ministry in kabul, they said that she herself has made herself disappear only a couple of days after the taliban took control. who is lying to us? because those in herat are saying one thing and kabul is saying another. yes. so, let me check with the interior ministry because, first of all, i should know about it.
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the story was. . .they told me was we have nothing to do with that, there is a general amnesty and she was working. and maybe...members of daesh, or isis, has kidnapped her, because at that time, this kidnapping by daesh was prevalent. even if daesh has taken this person or it's a criminal gang, how worrying is it for you, though, that this would happen under your watch? yes. it is our obligation to carry out investigation. yes, we will... we have done this and we will do this. and i will reach out with the authorities, what is the result of the investigation. he has come up with yet another theory about what's happened to alia azizi. so, we heard from those in the prison in herat that it could be
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criminal gangs. the spokesperson for the minister of interior says she's chosen to go underground because she has some information about the taliban. and now, another theory, that it could potentially be isis or daesh. and i'm not sure that he's telling us this with any kind of real understanding of the case, but just casually giving us another theory. it seems like they would rather people stop asking questions about her than actually investigate and find out what's happened to alia azizi. this is afghanistan, one year into taliban rule. ayearago, women's lives were radically transformed overnight. they've been driven out of work, into their homes, afraid to even step onto the street alone. women like alia disappear, and the authorities don't seem to be the least bit concerned.
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if the taliban want us to believe that this time, their rule will be different, they'll need to provide actions to meet their words. hello there. so far, the weather for the month of september has been one of contrast. eastern england has stayed dry and quite warm. out to the west, it's been pretty wet at times, and partly responsible is this area of low pressure sitting out in the atlantic. you can see the cloud spiralling in an anticlockwise direction.
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that's the weather fronts, and they've been kicking in and producing some sharp, thundery downpours. this has been the last few hours, moving into cornwall, stretching up across wales, pushing into the midlands. now, they're continuing to drift their way steadily northwards, and so they will be sitting towards southern scotland over the next few hours. behind it, slightly quieter. a little bit of patchy mist and fog. a very warm start to tuesday morning, with temperatures widely into mid—teens. still a relatively quiet start. there will be some dry weather through northern ireland and parts of england and wales first thing, those showers drifting their way northwards through scotland before further sharp showers develop once again into the southwest. blustery winds will drive them further inland. again, not everywhere will see the showers — northern ireland, parts of eastern england escaping them. it will be a little bit fresher generally, but top temperatures still,
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with the best of the sunshine, at around 2a celsius. that's 75 fahrenheit. now, as we move into wednesday, the area of low pressure is going to just push its way a little bit further eastwards. that means that all of us are at greater risk of seeing more frequent showers, particularly areas where we've not seen too many just recently. there'll be some more persistent rain easing away from northern scotland, and then the showers will develop as we go through the day. very hit—and—miss, but they will rattle through at quite a pace, some of them still quite hefty. top temperatures of around 15—21 degrees. once again, we might see 23 degrees into east anglia. now, as we move towards the end of the week, that low pressure still has yet to clear, and then we could potentially see this little nose of high pressure building for a time. and what that basically means is out to the east, with the low clearing away, it's going to stay quite showery towards the end of the working week and temperatures perhaps into the low 20s. but the further west, yes,
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we're likely to start off with showers on thursday, but hopefully something a little bit drier and brighter and, fingers crossed, a little quieter.
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welcome to bbc news, i'm david eades. our top stories: canadian police say one of the two men charged in connection with ten fatal stabbings has been found dead. we can confirm he has visible injuries. these injuries are not believed to be self—inflicted at this point. liz truss wins the race to become britain's next prime minister, promising to tackle the issues that matter. i will deliver a bold plan to cut taxes and grow our economy. because, my friends, i know that we will deliver, we will deliver, we will deliver. social—media company instagram is given a $400 million fine over the way it handled children's personal data.

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