False - April 29, 2021

Fake twitter account quoted about Taliban prisoners’ release

KABUL (Pajhwok): A report that quoted a fake twitter account claiming 7,000 Taliban prisoners would be released and the names of Taliban leaders removed from the UN blacklist is inaccurate.

Claim: 7,000 Taliban inmates would be released and Taliban leaders removed from blacklist in near future.

Khaama Press, KhabaryalAriana News and some other news outlets on Monday published reports that quoted a fake Twitter account attributed to ShirMohammad Abbas Stanikzai, Taliban’s deputy chief negotiator as saying that 7,000 prisoners of the insurgent group would be released by the Afghan government and Taliban leaders would be dropped from the UN blacklist in near future.

These reports were also widely circulated on social media.

Fact checking:

Taliban spokesman ZabihullahMujahid rejected the report as baseless and said, “Shir Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, deputy chief negotiator of the Islamic Emirate, has no any Twitter account.”

He said the twitter account that posted about the Taliban prisoners release was fake.

This comes as National Security Advisor HamdullahMohib last Saturday said that no more Taliban prisoners would be released until a peace agreement was reached. He had said that the government in the past too had released Taliban inmates but it was proved futile.

The Afghan government last year released 5,000 Taliban prisoners and the Taliban in return released 1,000 government inmates.

First vice-president AmrullahSaleh also had said that release of 5,000 Taliban inmates was a big mistake of the government which would not be repeated again.

Based on Doha agreement signed in February 2020, all Taliban inmates should be released within three months after the start of intra-Afghan negotiations on September 12, 2020.

The agreement also stated that the US will start diplomatic efforts with the UNSC’s other member states to remove Taliban from the UN black list until May 29, 2021 with the beginning of intra-Afghan talks.

Outcome: Some news outlets quoting a Twitter account attributed to Shir Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai reported that 7,000 Taliban inmates would be freed and Taliban leaders removed from UN blacklist in the near future, but the Taliban rejected the report as baseless and said that Stanikzai had no any Twitter accounts.

Verdict: The report about the release of 7,000 Taliban inmates and removal of Taliban leaders from blacklist is inaccurate.


Ahmad Shah Erfanyar

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