In the “Maleficent” star’s first-ever post to the popular platform, Jolie shared a letter she said she received from a teenage girl in Afghanistan.
“Right now, the people of Afghanistan are losing their ability to communicate on social media and to express themselves freely,” Jolie, who already has more than 3 million followers, captioned the post. “So I’ve come on Instagram to share their stories and the voices of those across the globe who are fighting for their basic human rights.”
Jolie said she was on the border of Afghanistan two weeks before the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and during her time abroad, she met Afghan refugees who had fled the Taliban nearly 20 years ago.
“It is sickening to watch Afghans being displaced yet again out of the fear and uncertainty that has gripped their country,” she wrote. “To spend so much time and money, to have blood shed and lives lost only to come to this, is a failure almost impossible to understand.”
“To spend so much time and money, to have blood shed and lives lost only to come to this, is a failure almost impossible to understand.”
The “Eternals” actress continued: “Watching for decades how Afghan refugees — some of the most capable people in the world — are treated like a burden is also sickening. Knowing that if they had the tools and respect, how much they would do for themselves.
“And meeting so many women and girls who not only wanted an education, but fought for it. Like others who are committed, I will not turn away. I will continue to look for ways to help. And I hope you’ll join me.”
Jolie also echoed similar sentiments in an op-ed she penned for Time magazine on Friday, writing, “whatever your views on the war in Afghanistan, we probably agree on one thing: it should not have ended this way.”
“Whatever your views on the war in Afghanistan, we probably agree on one thing: it should not have ended this way.”
The Taliban seized power two weeks before the U.S. was set to complete its troop withdrawal following a costly two-decade war.
In her statement, Jolie called the manner in which the U.S. appeared to “cut and run” while “abandoning our allies and supporters in the most chaotic way imaginable, after so many years of effort and sacrifice” a “betrayal and a failure impossible to fully understand.”
“I think of injured American servicemen and women I met at Ramstein Air Base—some who’d lost limbs fighting the Taliban— who told me how proud they felt to be a part of helping the Afghan people gain basic rights and freedoms,” she wrote before turning her pen to “every Afghan girl who picked up her bookbag and went to school in the last twenty years even though she risked being killed for it—as so many were.”
Jolie wrote that as an American she is “ashamed by the manner of our leaving.”
“It diminishes us. We have lost leverage to influence what now happens in Afghanistan,” she added. “We lack a strategy to monitor and support women and civil society in Afghanistan, who the Taliban have a history of targeting—banning girls from school, confining women to the home, and inflicting brutal physical punishments, including public lashing, on any woman perceived to have stepped out of line.”
“We have lost leverage to influence what now happens in Afghanistan.”
Jolie’s public decree of the happenings in Afghanistan is only one of many celebrity outcries about the world-changing events.
“The world is exceptionally fragile right now. As we all feel the many layers of pain due to the situation in Afghanistan, we are left speechless,” the joint statement read. “When any person or community suffers, a piece of each of us does so with them, whether we realize it or not.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.