Taliban militants fired in the air to scare away protesters who were demanding “Bread, work, and freedom”
The Taliban violently dispersed a women’s protest rally in Afghanistan’s capital on Saturday, several days ahead of the first anniversary of the Islamist group’s return to power, the news agency AFP has reported.
Around 40 women were chanting “bread, work and freedom” as they approached the education ministry in Kabul, according to the agency. Unconfirmed footage from Kabul shows Taliban militants shooting into the air as they attempt to disperse a female crowd.
Some women tried to shelter in shops nearby after the demonstration was over. However, they were pursued by Taliban fighters who used the guns of their weapons and beat them.
According to AFP, protesters carried a banner reading “August 15th is considered a “black day”.” an apparent reference to the date of the Taliban takeover one year ago. According to reports, the demonstrators demanded right of work and participation in politics.
⚡️In Afghanistan, the Taliban dispersed a women's rally by firing into the air. According to AFP, there are many casualties.
Kabulans voiced out against discrimination under the new government. pic.twitter.com/jcZ7HozFSj
— Flash (@Flash43191300) August 13, 2022
The news agency reported that several journalists reporting on the rally were attacked by Taliban members. Local media reported that militants had taken more than 10 journalists hostage and other media personnel.
Following the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021 the Taliban militants came back to power. After seizing Kabul, they promised to respect women’s rights and encouraged them to return to work.
In December 2021, however, the Taliban released a “Decree on the rights of women” that glossed over their access to education or work, while a number of experts immediately slammed the militants for returning to the practices they had embraced during their first period of rule that spanned from 1996 to 2001.
An Amnesty International report released in late July claims that “the Taliban’s crackdown” in Afghanistan is devastating the lives of women and girls, who are being stripped of their rights to education, work and free movement. Human rights monitors also found that peaceful protestors of the new rules were being punished. “have been threatened, arrested, detained, tortured, and forcibly disappeared.”