Angelina Jolie is sharing a letter she received from a teenage girl in Afghanistan in her first post on Instagram to highlight the suffering of women, girls and refugees – and to urge us all to take action.
The Hollywood star and UNHCR Special Envoy posted the hand-written letter with the name of the writer blurred out for her protection. Part of it reads:
“I am…young girl. I live in …Afghanistan, before Taliban came in, we all went to work, school, properly. We all had rights, we was able to defend our rights freely.”
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The letter continues to explain the fear and uncertainty she now feels about her freedom and life with the Taliban in power again.
“Maybe we can go back to last 20 years, and again we have no rights. The life of all of us is dark. We all lost our freedom and we are imprisoned again.”
Captioning the letter, Angelina explains that she was on the border of Afghanistan two weeks before 9/11 where she met refugees who had fled the Taliban.
“This was twenty years ago. It is sickening to watch Afghans being displaced yet again out of the fear and uncertainty that has gripped their country. To spend so much time and money, to have blood shed and lives lost only to come to this, is a failure almost impossible to understand.”
“Watching for decades how Afghan refugees – some of the most capable people in the world – are treated like a burden is also sickening. Knowing that if they had the tools and respect, how much they would do for themselves. And meeting so many women and girls who not only wanted an education, but fought for it.”
She ends by promising she won’t turn away and will “continue to look for ways to help,” urging us all to join her .
Angelina also links to a statement by UNHCR spokesperson Shabia Mantoo given today at the Palais Des Nations in Geneva, who highlighted the urgency of the humanitarian needs within Afghanistan.
“UNHCR remains concerned about the risk of human rights violations against civilians in this evolving context, including women and girls. As of today, those who may be in danger have no clear way out. UNHCR is calling on countries neighbouring Afghanistan to keep their borders open in light of the evolving crisis in Afghanistan” the statement reads.
This is the first time Angelina has joined social media saying she’s doing so to “share the stories and the voices of those across the globe who are fighting for their basic human rights.”
The UNHCR has more about the situation in Afghanistan and how you can help.
Angelina has also written an op-ed in TIME today about how the people of Afghanistan deserve so much better.
(Featured Image Credit: Denis Makarenko/Shutterstock; @AngelinaJolie/Instagram)