Taliban shoot out women’s demonstration in Afghanistan

Taliban fighters fire into the air to disperse Afghan women protesters in Kabul.

Photo: Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty Images

The Taliban violently dispersed, with shots in the air and blows with butts, a demonstration called this Saturday by groups of women who claim the right to work and education, a few days after a year since the extremists regained power in Afghanistan. Videos shared by activists show people fleeing with armed men in the background and the sound of gunfire.

About 40 women who chanted “Bread, work and freedom!” they paraded in front of the Ministry of Education in Kabul, but about five minutes into the march a group of fighters dispersed them by firing bursts into the air. The protesters carried a banner that read: “August 15 is a black day”, referring to the date of the capture of Kabul in 2021.

The Taliban, dressed in military outfits and armed with assault rifles, blocked a crossing in front of the women. One of them simulated a shot at the protesters, an AFP reporter observed. Some protesters then took refuge in nearby shops, until the Taliban chased them and beat them with rifle butts.

loss of rights

“We protested to raise our voices against the Taliban, but after we arrived they started to open fire to separate the members of the demonstration and now we are hiding in a pharmacy,” said one of the activists in a video shared on social networks. “Unfortunately, the Taliban dispersed the girls, took down their banners and confiscated their cell phones,” Zholia Parsi, one of the organizers of the demonstration, told AFP.

Since the radicals came to power nearly a year ago, Afghan women have taken to the streets sporadically to protest against the ban on access to work and the closure of secondary education for girls. These increasingly rare demonstrations do not have the approval of the Taliban, who in the past have detained and assaulted protesters, who have been jailed for weeks.

The Taliban have imposed a series of restrictions on civil society, many of which are aimed at subjecting women to their fundamentalist conception of Islam.

You may also like:
• UN denounces the increase in restrictions against women in Afghanistan
• Taliban leader orders women to cover their faces in public in Afghanistan
• TV presenters in Afghanistan cover their faces to go on air