Taliban beat women protesting in Afghanistan as anniversary nears
A women-led protest on Saturday in Kabul was broken up when Taliban fighters fired guns into the air, chased and beat the marchers, AFP reports.
Driving the news: Roughly 40 women chanted “bread, work and freedom” while they marched in front of the education ministry building, per AFP. The demonstration was held a few days before the first anniversary of the Taliban seizing control of Afghanistan last August.
The latest: Some marchers held a banner that read “15 August is a black day,” referring to the upcoming anniversary.
- The marchers also chanted: “Justice! Justice! We’re fed up with ignorance,” per the AFP.
- Taliban fighters chased protesters and beat them with the butts of their rifles.
The big picture: Since the calamitous U.S. withdrawal from the country last year, the Taliban have wiped away rights women gained during the two decades the U.S. occupied the country.
- The Taliban said in the aftermath they would honor women's rights, but only within the "frameworks" of Islamic law.
- However, the Taliban have placed a number of restrictions on women and girls.
- Girls have been barred from attending secondary school, and women have been forbidden from holding most government jobs or traveling alone.
- The Taliban also ordered women and girls to wear full face coverings.
What they’re saying: Human Rights Watch this week called on foreign governments to press the Taliban to restore the basic rights.
- “The Afghan people are living a human rights nightmare, victims of both Taliban cruelty and international apathy,” said Fereshta Abbasi, an Afghanistan researcher with the group. “Afghanistan’s future will remain bleak unless foreign governments engage more actively with Taliban authorities while pressuring them vigorously on their rights record.”
Go deeper: Afghan women becoming "invisible" under Taliban rule, UN warns