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Sonita Alizadeh awarded 2021 Freedom Prize

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(Last Updated On: May 21, 2021)

Sonita Alizadeh, an Afghan rapper and international advocate to end the forced marriage, was awarded the 2021 Freedom Prize earlier this week.

She was chosen by 5,683 young people from 86 countries to receive an award of €25,000 to support her work.  

The Freedom Prize was organized by the Normandy for Peace Initiative in the Normandy Region of France.

The organization recognizes an inspiring young person between aged 15 t0 25 who is committed to an exemplary fight for freedom.

Sonita, 25, is the third Freedom Prize laureate, Normandy for Peace Initiative said in a statement.

Sonita Alizadeh was born during the Taliban regime in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. 

“At the age of 9, her parents planned to sell her as a bride but because of the war, her family fled to Iran and the planned marriage fell through,” the statement said.

“In Teheran, an NGO provided her with access to education and a cleaning job. When Sonita stumbled upon a song by the rapper Eminem, it is a real breakthrough. She began writing to tell her story and to speak out against forced marriage and the plight of millions of children around the world,” the statement read 

Her first single, “Brides for Sale” garnered worldwide attention. 

Having moved to the United States, she is now a Human Rights major studying law at Bard College. She plans to become a lawyer and to return to her country to defend Afghan women and children.

About the Freedom Prize

The Freedom Prize is an educational initiative that aims to raise awareness of freedom, peace, and human rights, inspired by the values of the D-Day landings of June 6, 1944 in Normandy, France.  

The Freedom Prize invites young people aged 15 to 25 from France and around the world to choose an inspiring person or organization committed to an exemplary fight for freedom.   What makes the prize unique is that it involves young people at each stage: from the proposals submitted to the international panel of judges to the final selection of the winner. 

Organized by the Normandy for Peace Initiative, implemented with the International Institute of Human Rights and Peace, in partnership with the academic authorities of Normandy and the Canopé network, the Freedom Prize pays tribute to all those who have fought and continue to fight for this ideal.

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Russia’s Putin won’t attend G20 summit in person

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(Last Updated On: October 19, 2021)

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the G20 summit in Rome in person this month, but will take part via video link, the Kremlin said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Kremlin said Putin informed Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi about his plans in a telephone call during which they also discussed the situation in Afghanistan and bilateral issues.

This comes after the United Sates announced that will not join international talks on Afghanistan organized by Russia this week due to logistical reasons, but is open to participating in the future, the State Department said on Monday.

Moscow is hosting talks on Wednesday with officials from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), China and Pakistan, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special representative was quoted as saying last week.

“We will not participate in the Moscow talks. The Troika-plus has been an effective, a constructive forum. We look forward to engaging in that forum going forward, but we’re not in a position to take part this week,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.

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IEA Council of Ministers meet to discuss numerous issues

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(Last Updated On: October 19, 2021)

A meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) was held on Monday at the Presidential Palace in Kabul under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, Zabiullah Mujahid, the deputy minister of information and culture said in a statement.

The meeting was followed by a report back on the economic activities carried out by the Deputy Prime Minister, Mawlavi Abdul Salam Hanafi, read the statement.

According to the IEA the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amir Khan Mottaqi also provided information on important issues related to foreign trips and meetings with foreign representatives.

During the meeting necessary decisions were also taken on some important issues, Mujahid said.

A delegation was also formed from the agencies of Nadir Pakhtun Markets, in Kabul, and for mining. These were tasked to discuss in principle the modalities of starting construction work as soon as possible and submit plans in order for the implementation of the plans, the statement said.

Also higher education officials were instructed to take serious steps to standardize the affairs of universities and urged the officials of private universities to attract students to the relevant faculties after obtaining the necessary legal licenses.

Meanwhile, in order to control and organize the affairs of NGOs, the relevant commissions were tasked to evaluate the course of affairs, the activities of which should be tailored to the interests of the country in all respects and in accordance with the policies of the Islamic Emirate.

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India plans to send food to Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: October 19, 2021)

India plans to send food and medical aid to Afghanistan amid warnings that the nation could face a catastrophic famine this winter.

India is considering options to transport 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat and medical aid to Afghanistan. This, however, will be subject to Pakistan’s approval.

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called for “urgent and unhindered” humanitarian assistance to Afghan citizens.

Speaking at the G20 summit on Afghanistan, Modi had noted that the Afghan people have a great feeling of friendship for India and that every Indian feels the pain of Afghan people facing hunger and malnutrition.

Meanwhile, UN World Food Programme (WFP) had earlier said it is in touch with India to donate wheat to Afghanistan.

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