Taliban arrest two women activists in Kabul

Criticism for the attacks on freedom of expression in Afghanistan is multiplying again after the arrest of two women activists by the Taliban security forces in the last 24 hours. This has been confirmed to EFE by Fouzia Wahdat, a member of the Powerful Women’s Movement of Afghanistan: “They have been arrested by the security forces of the Taliban government: yesterday (Wednesday) Mursal Ayar and Dr. Zahra Mohammadi today (Thursday).”

Both activists had attended the recent protest that was organized in Kabul in favor of the educational and labor rights of women, as well as against the norms established on them by the almighty Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. Ayar and Mohammadi they thus become the third and fourth womenafter Tamana Paryani and Parwana Ibrahimkhail, being detained by the Taliban, according to the count of several local media and human rights organizations. The Taliban, however, have not yet commented on these events.

Several public universities in some provinces of Afghanistan have reopened this Wednesday for the first time since the Taliban took power in August 2021, with an impediment: the new authorities have imposed a gender segregation in classrooms Y the Mandatory use of hijab for womenwhich has caused rejection in hundreds of Afghan women.

The UN denounces the new arrests

The detention of Mursal Ayar and Dr. Zahra Mohammadi have been denounced by the UN Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), which has urged the Taliban government to release the women, as well as disclose the reason for the arrest.

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“UNAMA has requested urgent information today from the (Afghan) Ministry of the Interior about the arrests reported in the last 24 hours by the Taliban of two other women activists in Kabul. The UN reiterates its call for all activists and relatives of women ‘disappeared’ are released,” the organization posted on Twitter.

The repression of women in Afghanistan

Women’s rights have been pushed back after the Taliban came to power in mid-August, not being able to return many of them to their jobsor the closure of secondary schools for female students.

The right to female education has always been one of the conditions for the recognition of the Taliban government by the international community, which they hope will distance them from the hard line they imposed during their first stay in power between 1996 and 2001, when girls were prohibited from attending school and women were confined to the home.

“We are not the women of 20 years ago, who sat at home (as they were forced to do) by the previous Taliban regime,” the activist Mohammadi (now arrested) warned in an interview with Efe while leading a demonstration against the Islamists.

Afghan women have raised their voices in the European Parliament against the Taliban regime


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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