Authors > Lauryn Oates

Lauryn Oates

Five Reasons Why I'm Not Neutral

By Lauryn Oates on December 27, 2010

five_reasons.jpgAs the Taliban now run shadow governments in all but one of Afghanistan’s provinces (the Panjshir) amounting to a government-in-waiting, and one by one NATO governments announce their withdrawal dates, there is a glum resolve here among many aid workers that one day very soon the government we may be dealing with in Kabul will be a Taliban one. And so some are starting to seek engagement with the Taliban now, hoping they might be more accommodating than the miserable years of 1996-2001, when the overwhelming majority of organizations fled, and those who stayed, worked within bizarre and frustrating restrictions, many of which barred aid to women and girls. Overall, the restrictions and the fickle and unpredictable behaviour of the host government then meant aid simply could not reach all of the most vulnerable, and many lives were lost as a result.

We must not abandon Afghanistan

By Lauryn Oates on March 25, 2010

In the recent speech from the throne on March 3, Afghanistan was mentioned in only two instances, and not mentioned at all in the budget speech the following day, strangely sidestepping the subject of the country in which we have engaged with so closely for the last seven years.
This is perhaps not surprising, given the inability of any of the three political parties to take any leadership on what a Canadian contribution to Afghanistan after 2011 might look like, and the Afghanistan fatigue that sadly characterizes Canadian public opinion.

Time to shine the light on Uzbek sadism

By Lauryn Oates on February 11, 2010

In the vast emptiness of the Kyzyl Kum desert that covers western Uzbekistan, there is a dark prison called Jaslyk. The very name causes local people to shudder. There, inmates are jammed into cells, 16 in each, sometimes forced to stand for days on end, forbidden to speak out loud.
One day in 2002, two men were being tortured in Jaslyk. Their names were Muzafar Avazov and Khusnuddin Olimov. Submerged in boiling water, they were literally boiled alive, a form of torture otherwise unknown since the likes of 14th-century Scotland or the Roman Inquisition...


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