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Afghanistan is full of disappointment, fear and hopelessness, says UK-based lawyer

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By euronews
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Taliban fighters patrol in the Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021
Taliban fighters patrol in the Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021   -   Copyright  Credit: AP

The atmosphere in Afghanistan is "full of fear and hopelessness" just days after the Taliban took control of the country, a human rights lawyer has told Euronews.

London-based Fereshta Abbasi was speaking as concern grows for those unable to get out of the country.

With desperate crowds thronging Kabul's airport, and Taliban fighters ringing its perimeter, the US government is renewing its advisory to Americans and others that it cannot guarantee safe passage for any of those desperately seeking seats on the planes inside.

"Well, the situation in Afghanistan is full of disappointment, there's an atmosphere of fear and hopelessness there," Abbasi told Euronews.

"Whoever I talk to is not optimistic at all. There is no hope for a better future under Taliban control. I have been talking to many friends and women for the past few days.

"Most of them are not going out. They have deactivated their social profiles because they don't want their identities to be revealed, don't want the Taliban to track them.

"So basically, even though the Taliban has not formed their governments yet, women are mostly eliminated from a social perspective. So their social life has already been affected."

Abbasi's comments come after the United Kingdom announced plans to offer shelter to up to 20,000 Afghan refugees, especially women.

But there is concern that only a quarter will come in the first year.

The UK's Home Office said 5,000 would arrive in the first 12 months of the scheme with "up to a total of 20,000 in the long-term".

"My concern is that those vulnerable people who are in Afghanistan at the moment need to be evacuated immediately," said Abbasi.

"The timeline which has been framed for the new scheme is is a bit of concern because we know that most of the human rights activists, women's rights activists, lawyers, former government employees are under immediate risk and need to be evacuated immediately."

Watch the full interview in the video player, above.