Afghanistan: Taliban crack down on women’s rights protest in Kabul | World

The women claim the Taliban shot them with tear gas and pepper spray as they tried to walk from a bridge to the presidential palace.

Afghan women protest in Kabul on September 3, 2021 — Photo: Wali Sabawoon/AP

The Taliban, meanwhile, said the protest had gotten out of hand, according to the Afghan news service Tolo News.

It is the latest in several protests by women in Kabul and Herat, Afghanistan’s third-largest city.

Women claimed the right to work and to be included in government.

Women’s protest in Kabul, September 3, 2021 — Photo: Stringer/Reuters

The Taliban says it will announce the composition of its government in the coming days, and has already stated that women will be able to be involved in government but not hold ministerial posts.

Many women fear a return to the way they were treated when the Taliban was in power between 1996 and 2001. Women were forced to cover their faces, and severe punishments were meted out for minor transgressions.

“Twenty-five years ago, when the Taliban arrived, they stopped me from going to school,” journalist Azita Nazimi told Tolo News.

“After five years of their government, I studied for 25 years and worked hard. For the sake of our future, let’s not allow that to happen.”

Another protester, Soraya, told Reuters that fighters in the group used gun clips to hit women on the head during the protest, leaving them bloodied.

Meanwhile, over the weekend, clashes broke out in the Panjshir Valley, north of Kabul, where resistance fighters thwarted Taliban efforts to seize control of the region.

The valley, which is in a province of the same name, has become an isolated center of resistance in the country against the Taliban, made up of fighters of different ethnicities and former members of the Afghan armed forces – supposedly in the thousands.

But the Taliban says it has taken control of two more districts and says it is moving into central Panjshir province.

A spokesman for the Afghan National Resistance Front said fighting continued to fight and thousands of Taliban fighters had been surrounded.

The Panjshir Valley, home to between 150,000 and 200,000 people, was a center of resistance when Afghanistan was under Soviet occupation in the 1980s and during the earlier period of Taliban rule.

The leader of the National Resistance Front, Ahmad Massoud, praised the women’s protests and said Panjshir continued to resist.

None of the allegations of the National Resistance Front or the Taliban could be independently verified.

On Saturday, US General Mark Milley, the US chief of staff, questioned whether the Taliban would be able to transition from an insurgent force to a government, saying there was a “good chance” of civil war.

“This, in turn, will lead to conditions that may, in fact, lead to the reconstitution of al-Qaeda or the growth of ISIS [grupo extremista autodenominado Estado Islâmico]”he told Fox News.

In the UK, in an interview with the BBC, the head of the Armed Forces, General Nick Carter, defended military intelligence against criticism that it failed to predict the advance of the Taliban, saying that even the fighters themselves were surprised by the ease with which took control of Afghanistan.

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