The whole “kinder, gentler Taliban” nonsense the media was being handed by its Qatari handlers long enough to arrange for a “peace deal” turned out to be lies.
Who could have guessed that the Taliban would not welcome journalists coming to their country to write stories about gay people in Afghanistan?
Speaking to the BBC after the ordeal, Ms O’Donnell said she had travelled to Kabul to see how the country had changed since she left almost a year ago.
“I went in good faith,” she said, adding that she had gone straight to the foreign ministry when she had arrived on Sunday to declare that she was in the country as a foreign correspondent – a requirement of the regime.
But not long afterwards, a three-day game of cat-and-mouse with the Taliban ensued, during which she was “detained, abused and threatened”, she wrote in a Foreign Policy article about her experience.
Considering what happened to journalists who went to report on the “Syrian rebels” and ended up beheaded, that’s an improvement.
She said she was accused of “breaking their laws” and “offending Afghan culture,” with the Taliban claiming articles she had written – including one about LGBTQ+ people in Afghanistan and another on the forced marriage practices of Taliban militants – were lies.
Ms O’Donnell – former bureau chief for news agencies AFP and AP in Afghanistan – stands by her reporting.
Seriously, what did she or her superiors think would happen here?
She added that she was also made to film a video stating that she had not been coerced into writing the tweets.
“They were bullies. I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t afraid to some extent. But I wasn’t terrified,” she told the BBC.
She was later released and was allowed to board a plane out of the country.
Speaking about her decision to go back to Afghanistan, she said: “I knew that I was taking a risk in going there: they lock up, they abuse, they beat, they kill journalists who are Afghans. They have a history of taking foreigners hostage to use as leverage. I didn’t know that that wouldn’t happen to me.”
She added that she would not be returning to Afghanistan as it would be “reckless” to do so.
Because it wasn’t reckless the first time.