Muhammad Ali, an Afghan migrant from Khost who planned to found his own cryptocurrency mining business, illegally crossed into Turkey from Iran, to flee the Taliban.
As all the media have reported, the Taliban movement this month took over almost the entire territory of Afghanistan and now controls the country, with the terrible consequences that this implies for the population in terms of Human Rights, with the loss of all kinds of freedoms. Hundreds of thousands of people flee by all possible routes, horror stories are repeated daily.
Today, the Reuters agency tells us how this affected a member of the crypto community: it is the story of Muhammad Ali, an Afghan in his 20s, computer and design student, who said he dreamed of building a cryptocurrency business before for the Taliban to begin their sweep through Afghanistan . This take, which affects the country politically, economically and socially, forced him – like so many – to undertake a journey westward through Iran and Turkey, evading border guards and security searches as he advanced.
Born in the Afghan province of Khost, Ali, after a very long walk that lasted weeks through Iran and then a trip by bus and boat to Turkey, took refuge in a drainage tunnel on the outskirts of the Tatvan district of Bitlis province , in eastern Turkey. He told Reuters he was waiting for westbound transport and wanted to go to Europe. Around 50 more people took refuge with him.
This Reuters image shows the Afghan refugee in the tunnel, along with a group of men:
The young man said he had a YouTube channel where he posted videos on topics including how to make money online.
“There is no Internet. If there is no internet, I can’t do my job there. If we had smartphones that had a camera, the Taliban would not allow it”.
Sadly, a day after speaking to Reuters, Ali sent a text message to the agency. “We were arrested by the police”, he said.
In recent weeks, the Turkish police have detained some 300,000 Afghan migrants. Those captured in Bitlis are sent to a repatriation center in Van, although Afghans are not currently being sent back to their country due to the unrest there.