Taliban accused of torturing Afghan women protesters in custody

Kabul, Oct 20 (EFE).- Human Rights Watch (HRW) Thursday accused Afghan police of custodial torture and mistreatment of detained female demonstrators protesting Taliban abuses and curbs on women.

The rights group claimed to have recounted the ordeal of at least three women protesters who were detained and subjected to torture in custody.

HRW said the stories of the women show how “deeply threatened the Taliban feel by” activists and the brutal lengths the Islamists “go to try to silence them.”

The Taliban arbitrarily arrested the three women during a single raid on a safe house in Kabul in February 2022.

The nonprofit said the authorities held them and their family members for several weeks at the interior ministry in apparent retaliation for their involvement in planning and participating in women’s rights protests.

“They kept us. They said we would be prosecuted as a political case. We didn’t think we would be freed. I cried too much. I begged them to let my kids out,” said Khorshid, a pseudonym.

Hypatia, another female protester, recalled how 21 women and seven children were confined together in a “stiflingly hot room with no ventilation for five days and virtually no food or water.”

“There was a small window, but we couldn’t open it. There was no AC,” Hypatia said. “The oxygen ended in the room. The kids couldn’t sleep. We were like fish out of water.”

Oqyanoos said all the women detained with them were interrogated individually for two to three hours.

They alleged that the Taliban compiled and released on social media a heavily edited video of the protesters “confessing” that they had been influenced by members of the Afghan diaspora and suggesting that they had protested only to obtain asylum abroad.

Hypatia said a female jailer told her that the Taliban wanted to take video, not for the public, only for their archive. EFE


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