Afghanistan: Taliban repress women’s protest


Taliban fighters—now acting as the security forces of the self-declared “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan”—used tear-gas to break up a protest by women in Kabul on Jan. 16, called under the banner of “Rights and Freedom Now.” The small demonstration in the vicinity of Kabul University especially called attention to two incidents in recent days—the detention of three women activists at a protest in the northern city of Balkh, in Mazar province, who have yet to be released; and the slaying of two young women of the Hazara ethnic minority by Taliban gunmen at a checkpoint in Kabul. Taliban authorities are calling the Jan. 14 killings at the checkpoint an “accident,” and have reportedly arrested one of the fighters involved. In the continuing protests since the Taliban seizure of power, women have been in the vanguard. (TOLO News, Kabul. Times of India, The Independent)

Photo: TOLO News

  1. Afghanistan minibus blast targets Hazaras

    A bomb blast on a minibus killed at least seven people in an area inhabited by the minority Hazara Shi’ite community in the western Afghan city of Herat. The bomb was attached to the fuel tank of the bus, and left nine other people wounded. Four women were among the dead. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. (First Post)

  2. UN pressures Taliban over missing women activists

    The United Nations expressed concern about the disappearance of two Afghan women’s rights activists. Taman Zaryabi Paryani and Parawana Ibrahimkhel were abducted from their homes by the Taliban on the night of Jan. 19. “We urge Taliban to provide information on their whereabouts & to protect rights of all Afghans,” the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a statement.

    One of the activists managed to post a harrowing video from her home in Kabul just before her abduction. The video shows a visibly scared Paryani, as men claiming to be from the Taliban’s intelligence department pound on the front door. Paryani was disconnected shortly after sharing the video with a social media network. (DW)

  3. US offers reward for ISIS-K leader

    The US is offering a reward of up to $10 million each for information on the supposed leader of ISIS-K, Sanaullah Ghafari, and those responsible for last year’s deadly attack on Kabul airport. Last week the Pentagon said the attack at the airport in August was carried out by a lone suicide bomber, and there were no ISIS-K gunmen. (SkyNews)

  4. UN pressures Taliban over missing women activists —again

    The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) issued a statement Feb. 8 expressing concern for the safety of four women who disappeared after participating in a women’s rights protests in Afghanistan. In addition to Parwana Ibrahim Khil and Tamana Paryani, who were abducted with their relatives on Jan. 19, two more women in Kabul—who also reportedly took part in a Jan. 16 protest—were forcibly taken last week. Reports indicate that Mursal Ayar was taken from her house on Feb. 2 and Dr Zahra Mohammadi was abducted outside her medical clinic on Feb. 3. There is no information about their whereabouts. 

  5. Multiple blasts target Hazara district in Kabul

    At least six people, including young students, were been killed and 11 further wounded when three blasts targeted a boy’s school in Kabul’s Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood, a Shi’ite Hazara neighborhood. (Khaama Press)

  6. Blast targets Shi’ite worshipers in Mazar

    At least 10 were killed and 30 wounded in a blast that targeted a Shi'ite mosque filled with worshipers in Afghanistan's northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on the group's Telegram channel. The renewed attacks on Afghan Shi'ites come amid the holy month of Ramadan. (Khaama Press, Hindustan Times, RFE/RL)

  7. Deadly blast at Sufi mosque in Kabul

    A blast killed more than 50 worshippers after Friday prayers at the Khalifa Sahib Mosque in Kabul, the latest in a series of attacks on Muslims in Afghanistan during the holy month of Ramadan. The attack came as worshippers gathered after prayers for zikr, a Sufi ceremony. (CNA)

  8. Deadly explosions hit Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif

    A series of explosions in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif killed nine people May 25, while a blast at the Hazrat Zakaria Mosque in Kabul left at least two worshippers dead. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the Mazar attacks, in which bombs were placed on three minibuses in different districts of the city. (Al Jazeera)

  9. Deadly explosion rocks Sikh site in Kabul

    A bomb attack on a Sikh prayer site in Kabul, the Gurdwara Karte Parwan, left two dead, including one worshipper, as well as the unidentified attackers. The assault came when up to 30 people were inside the last remaining Sikh place of worship, or gurdwara, in the city. Community leaders recently estimated that just 140 Sikhs remain in Afghanistan, down from 100,000 in the 1970s. (BBC News. India Today)