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An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. Or you can catch it online from Friday.

Latest update : 2017-07-21

Video: Afghans live in fear as kidnappings soar

Last year, more than 300 people were kidnapped in Afghanistan. Although abductions of foreigners by the Taliban tend to make the headlines, more than 90% of the victims are in fact Afghans. Terrorist groups, but more often criminal gangs, are to blame. FRANCE 24 reports on the resulting disastrous social and economic consequences for the country.

Kidnappings are on the rise in Afghanistan.

A population already weary from war and terror attacks now also live in fear of being kidnapped.

In 2016, the police reported almost one abduction per day, but the actual figure is undoubtedly much higher as many are not reported to the authorities.

Foreigners living in Afghanistan - essentially diplomats and humanitarian workers - limit their movements as much as possible and they live in secure residences, complete with armed guards and "panic rooms".

However, it’s mostly Afghans who are kidnapped and their ordeals receive little press coverage. This is despite the fact that the victims are subjected to extreme violence during their ordeal: horrifying audio and video recordings of acts of torture are often sent to families.

Faced with this wave of abductions, the under-resourced police are doing what they can. A specialist unit has now been set up in Kabul to tackle this spiraling problem.

Not only is this yet another worry for Afghans in their daily lives, it is also damaging the economy. As a result, since Afghan entrepreneurs want to avoid attracting the attention of criminal gangs and terrorists, the registration of new companies halved in 2016 according to the Afghan Chamber of Commerce. Even Afghan investors prefer to move their money outside the country. All this has resulted in a shortfall for the Afghan economy estimated at one billion euros.

By Sonia GHEZALI , Camille LE POMELLEC , Surabhi TANDON


2017-10-20 Asia-pacific

The Dictator's Games: A rare look inside Turkmenistan

As Turkmenistan hosted the Asian Games in the capital Ashgabat, our reporter managed to obtain a visa to cover the event. He brings us a rare look inside one of the world’s most...

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2017-10-13 Europe

Video: Ghosts of 1917 revolution still haunt Russians

What remains of the 1917 October Revolution in Russia? FRANCE 24 brings you a special documentary on how Russians are living with this cumbersome legacy, as the Kremlin keeps a...

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2017-10-06 Middle East

Video: After the war, life slowly returns to Mosul

FRANCE 24's reporters went back to Mosul, almost three months after Iraqi forces liberated the country’s second city from the grip of the Islamic State (IS) group. The scene of...

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2017-09-29 Africa

Video: Beauty queens to the rescue in Sierra Leone

In January 2016, Sierra Leone, a small West African country torn apart by war and ranked among the poorest in the world, created a sensation at the Miss Universe event. For the...

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2017-06-30 Saudi Arabia

Women in Saudi Arabia: A long road to equality

In Saudi Arabia, women are considered second-class citizens. They cannot drive or travel without the authorisation of a male guardian: a brother, father, cousin or even a son....

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