Sportsmen protest against US’ decision to direct Afghan funds to 9/11 victims
Kabul, Feb 23 (EFE).- Hundreds of Afghan sportsmen protested Wednesday in Kabul against the decision of the United States to allocate $3.5 billion of Afghanistan’s central bank funds to the victims of the 9/11 attacks.
Protesters, all males, carrying placards reading “The money belongs to the Afghan nation” and “This is an unfair decision,” marched from the Kolola Pushta area of Kabul city towards the office of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.
“Today all the sportsmen have come out to condemn President Joe Biden’s decision dedicating Afghan nation money for 9/11 victims,” taekwondo athlete Ahmad Fawad told EFE during the demonstration.
On Feb.11, Biden signed an executive order allowing $7 billion in frozen assets from Afghanistan’s central bank to be distributed for humanitarian assistance in the war-torn country and to victims of the 9/11 terror attacks.
The funds, held in the US, were frozen after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in August last year.
The decision was severely criticized by the Taliban, which stressed that if the US administration did not stop the move and continued with its “provocative” actions, the Islamic Emirate – as the Taliban call themselves – will have to reconsider its policy towards Washington.
Afghanistan is going through one of its worst situations in the last two decades, as it faces a deep economic and humanitarian crisis while its Taliban government still remains far from gaining recognition from the international community.
Another protester, Wali Tofan, told EFE that the US decision “affects the entire nation, not just a specific sector, and will push it even further into misery.”
Amnesty International also recently criticized Biden’s decision and described it as a mistake, while arguing that the money does not belong to the terrorists involved in the 9/11 attacks, but to the people of Afghanistan.
This protest by athletes comes at a time women have been barred from taking part in sports in the country, since the fundamentalists took over Kabul on Aug.15. EFE