A group of Afghan women on Saturday once again took to the streets of Kabul, demanding equal rights and the opportunity to participate in a government run by the Taliban. The demonstration was shattered and tear gas was used against the peaceful protesters.
The video released by the Afghan news station Tolo News showed a group of female protesters confronting the Taliban. One of them shouted through a megaphone that “the demands will be passed on to the elders.” As the station informs, then on the recording you can hear screams of women and questions: “why are you beating us?”. Tolo News was reported by the world’s media, including the American television CNN and the British broadcaster BBC.
When the women were going to the presidential palace during Saturday’s protest, the Taliban used tear gas.
– We were going to take part in a protest taking place near the former state offices. But before we got there, the Taliban had used electric stun guns and tear gas on women. They also beat them on the head with magazines. Some of them were bleeding, Soraya, a former clerk told Reuters.
“The video of Afghan activist Narjis Sadat bleeding her head was widely disseminated on social media, and comments highlighted that she was beaten during the protest,” CNN reported.
Taliban official on “trying to cause problems”
The American station also reported that Taliban representatives “reject” recordings of violence against women made available on the Internet. She quoted the head of the culture committee, Muhammad Jalal, who said that the demonstrations were “a deliberate attempt to cause problems.” Jalal stated that “these people do not represent even 0.1 percent of Afghanistan.”
“What about the number of women? 20 or 30? Most of the women are happy. CNN wants the Americans to attack Afghanistan again, but I think they will never make that mistake. Trillion dollar defeat, as they call it,” Jalal said on Twitter, referring to to the publication of the American station on the Afghan women demonstration. CNN recalled that “in bold public opposition to Taliban rule, activists staged at least three small demonstrations across the country over the past week.”
Previous women’s demonstrations took place Friday in Kabuland also on Wednesday in Herat. They demanded access to education, the right to return to work, and participation in the government created by the Taliban. One Afghan activist told CNN that she had not participated in the Herat demonstration due to imminent danger. She spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing that even expressing an interest in the protest might expose her to retaliation.
The protest “got out of hand”
According to Tolo News reports, the Taliban were said to have admitted Saturday’s women’s protest “got out of hand”.
The Taliban had previously announced that women could sit in the government but could not hold ministerial positions.
Many women fear a return to the way they were treated under the Taliban from 1996 to 2001. Women were forced to cover their faces, and severe penalties were imposed for minor offenses. “Twenty-five years ago, when the Taliban arrived, they didn’t let me go to school,” Azita Nazimi journalist, who participated in Saturday’s protest in Kabul, told Tolo News. – After five years of their rule, I studied and worked hard. For the sake of our better future, we will not allow it to happen otherwise – she added.
The Taliban, who ruled the Taliban 1996-2001, imposed a radical form of Sharia (Islamic law). Afghan women did not have the right to work and education at the time, and the obligation for them to wear full-face burrows was strictly enforced.
Main photo source: Reuters