Kabul, Sep 29 (EFE).- The Taliban on Thursday fired in the air to disperse a women’s demonstration in Kabul in support of the ongoing anti-government movement in Iran, where the arrest and death of Mahsa Amini – allegedly for not wearing the Islamic veil – has triggered a wave of protests over women’s rights.
“Iran stood up, now it is our turn,” “Mahsa’s blood is our way and our inspiration,” were some of the slogans on the placards carried by around 30 women who took part in the protest in front of the Iranian embassy.
The women, who were covered in veils, masks or sunglasses to avoid being recognized, were also carrying photos of Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman who died in police custody in Iran after being arrested by the morality police.
A shopkeeper from the area told EFE on the condition of anonymity that the women chanted slogans backing women’s freedom and against the Iranian government, after which the Taliban security forces “fired in the air and the protestors dispersed within a few minutes.”
Heavy security was deployed outside the Iranian embassy in the capital, but the Taliban had allowed the gathering assuming that it was against the alleged abuse being faced by Afghan refugees in the neighboring country.
“Initially we thought they are protesting for Afghan immigrants who were treated violently in Iran. (But) suddenly we realized that they are protesting for the Iranian girl, so our colleagues acted immediately and dispersed them,” A Taliban security officer told EFE on the condition of anonymity.
Since the Taliban seized power in August 2021, women have held sporadic protests demanding their rights, although repression by the Islamist regime has resulted in many of the demonstrations being held indoors.
These protesters have demanded that women be allowed to return to work and to high schools, as the Taliban have shut down high-schools for girls, while Afghan women are also obliged to cover their entire bodies and require a male family member’s company in order to be allowed to travel.
Many of these rules are a repeat of the first Taliban regime – which was in place between 1996 and 2001 – although the Islamists had initially promised to change their attitude towards women after seizing power last year. EFE