Conflicts & War

Taliban’s ‘suffocating crackdown’ destroying Afghan women’s lives: Amnesty

Kabul, Jul 27 (EFE).- The lives of women and girls in Afghanistan are being destroyed by a “suffocating crackdown” on their rights by the Taliban, according to non-governmental organization Amnesty International on Wednesday.

“Since they took control of the country in August 2021, the Taliban have violated women’s and girls’ rights to education, work and free movement; decimated the system of protection and support for those fleeing domestic violence; detained women and girls for minor violations of discriminatory rules; and contributed to a surge in the rates of child, early and forced marriage,” Amnesty said in a report titled “Death in Slow Motion: Women and Girls under Taliban Rule.”

In the report, the UK-based organization details the deterioration of the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan, where they face gender-based violence, arbitrary detentions due to alleged infractions of the Taliban’s discriminatory policies, the closure of schools and the work possibilities.

“Less than one year after the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, their draconian policies are depriving millions of women and girls of their right to lead safe, free and fulfilling lives,” Amnesty’s Secretary General Agnès Callamard said.

Despite the fact that the Islamists promised to respect the rights of women within the norms of the Islamic law, repression against them has been increasing.

Women protesting against this crackdown have been targeted with “harassment and abuse, arbitrary arrest and detention, enforced disappearance, and physical and psychological torture,” Amnesty said.

“Detained protesters had inadequate access to food, water, ventilation, sanitary products and health care. To secure their release, the women were forced to sign agreements that they and their family members would neither protest again, nor speak publicly about their experiences in detention,” it added.

According to the organization, an increasing number of women and girls are being arrested and detained for “minor violations” of the Taliban’s list of offenses such as appearing in public without being accompanied by a mahram (male chaperone) or with a man who does not qualify as a mahram.

Amnesty also found an increase in early and forced marriages under Taliban rule, attributing it to the severe humanitarian and economic crisis plaguing the country after the fundamentalists’ return to power, and the lack of educational and professional prospects for women and girls, who haven’t been allowed to return to secondary schools.

“At university level, the Taliban’s harassment of female students – as well as restrictions on students’ behavior, dress and opportunities – has created an unsafe environment where female students are systematically disadvantaged,” leading many to drop out or not enroll in university, Amnesty said.

The organization urged the international community to take measures and impose targeted sanctions and travel bans to hold the Taliban accountable “for their treatment of women and girls without harming the Afghan people.”

“If the international community fails to act, it will be abandoning women and girls in Afghanistan, and undermining human rights everywhere,” Callamard said. EFE


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