Taliban violently break up women’s demonstration in Kabul, organizers say

The group Women for Justice denounced this Saturday that the Taliban violently broke up a rally organized in the Afghan capital, Kabul, to condemn the murder of a young woman by the former insurgent movement, which is now at the forefront the country.

Demonstrators rallied to protest the death of young Zainab Abdulahi, who protesters said was shot dead by the Taliban while returning from a wedding, and demanding the release of Alia Azizi, director of Herat Women’s Prison, who allegedly detained for the movement has denied any responsibility. Azizi, according to her relatives, disappeared in October 2020 and has not heard from her since.

Organizers told Hasht e Subh newspaper that the Taliban disrupted the demonstration by using electric batons and pepper spray on protesters near Kabul University.

Taliban violently break up women’s demonstration in Kabul, organizers say
Taliban violently break up women’s demonstration in Kabul, organizers say

“As we approached Kabul University, three Taliban vehicles came and fired tear gas at us,” said one protester, who asked not to be identified. The women stress that the Taliban confiscated the phone of a woman who wanted to record the incident and that she too was attacked.

The Islamist group has banned unauthorized protests and often intervenes to violently disperse demonstrations demanding women’s rights.

The Taliban authorities have barred female civil servants from returning to work, many secondary schools have yet to reopen to girls, and public universities are closed. They have also banned long-distance travel for women who are not accompanied by a close male relative.

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