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Thousands of Afghan evacuees waiting in camps to start their new lives

By Genevieve Beauchemin CTV National News Montreal Bureau Chief and Anthony Vasquez-Peddie, CTVNews.ca Writer

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    TORONTO, Ontario (CTV Network) — Nearly 10,000 Afghans, now out of the Taliban’s reach, are waiting in German refugee camps desperate for their new lives to begin.

“We are supposed to be in Canada,” Naeem, who worked as an interpreter for a Canadian-funded project, told CTV National News.

He escaped Afghanistan with his wife and six young children in a harrowing journey that lasted days before they were able to fly out of the country at the end of August.

“The little kids, they were crying when the Taliban opened fire,” Naeem said. “They were just shaking like that, especially those twins and little ones. It was a hard time for us.”

Naeem’s family has escaped the violence in Afghanistan, but are still not in their new homeland. Two weeks ago, U.S. evacuation flights out of camps were halted after several cases of measles broke out among refugees. The U.S. has since launched a vaccination campaign.

Naeem says he has no idea when he and his family will be able to leave, but he’s grateful to Canada for helping him get out of Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the Taliban has tightened its grip on the country.

Mullah Nooruddin Turabi, one of the founders of the Taliban, announced the return of extreme punishments, including amputations and executions.

Human Rights Watch, a group that advocates for human rights, also reported women in Afghanistan were increasingly being confined to their homes and that a compulsory dress code was imposed.

The Taliban announced classrooms for grades six and up would only be open to boys.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who notoriously survived a bullet to a head from a Taliban gunman as she was leaving school in Pakistan in 2012, urged the world to push the Taliban to protect human rights.

“I was targeted for speaking out for girls’ education, and it proved to me that the Taliban were scared of the voice of women and girls,” she said during a session at the UN General Assembly on Friday. “They did not want to hear women and girls speak out for equality, and they did not want to see women being educated.”

With files from The Associated Press

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