Taliban Fire Shots And Tear Gas At Women’s Equal Rights Protest In Kabul
Taliban fighters used gunfire and tear gas to break up a women’s equal rights protest in Kabul on Saturday, September 4.
At least 50 Afghan women had been taking to the streets over the past two days, campaigning for human rights protections and the right to work and govern under the Taliban’s rule.
Amid the militant group’s takeover of the country, spokespeople assured there had been an ‘amnesty’ declared which would see women permitted to work and study up to university level. However, many have feared this to be empty rhetoric, with reports of violence, executions and stay-at-home orders, echoing past restrictions.
Razia Barakzai, 26, told Al Jazeera the women were stopped marching near the entrance to the capital’s finance ministry. The Taliban ‘surrounded’ them before using tear gas and pepper spray, with other reports of fighters shooting guns in the air, causing women to flee. One was reportedly struck on the head.
‘We were calm and peaceful the entire time, but they just wanted to stop us at any cost… these weren’t ordinary Taliban forces. It was strange, they didn’t want us to stay, but they also wouldn’t let us leave,’ she said.
This all comes after as recently as Friday, September 3, when Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen told Fox News, ‘There will be no issue about the women’s rights. No problem about their education, their work.’
He also said he disagrees with women having an education ‘without a hijab… we should not be after changing each other’s cultures – we are not intending to change your culture, you should not be changing our culture.’
In the wake of the past government, the new administration is believed to be made up of Taliban members exclusively, with 25 ministries and a council of a dozen Muslim scholars.
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