Taliban break up women’s rights protest in Kabul

·2-min read

Watch: Taliban breaks up women's rights protests in Kabul by 'firing shots and using tear gas'

A women’s rights protest which took place in Afghanistan’s capital was broken up by Taliban officials.

The group of women who held a demonstration demanding rights following the Taliban’s takeover said they were targeted with tear gas and pepper spray as they tried to walk from a bridge to the presidential palace.

The women’s march began peacefully, with demonstrators laying a wreath outside Afghanistan’s Defense Ministry to honour Afghan soldiers who died fighting the Taliban before walking to the presidential palace.

As the group approached the presidential palace, a dozen Taliban special forces ran into the crowd, firing in the air and sending women fleeing.

Afghan women take part in a protest in Kabul (Getty Images)
Afghan women take part in a protest in Kabul (Getty Images)

According to Afghan media outlet Tolo News, the Taliban claim that the protest got out of control.

It’s the latest in a string of protests by women in Kabul and Herat since the Taliban seized power of Afghanistan last month.

Women have been protesting for their right to work and be included in the government.

The Taliban have said they will announce the make-up of their administration in the coming days and that women can be involved in government, but will not hold ministerial positions.

Many women in Afghanistan fear a return to how they were treated when the Taliban last ruled the country between 1996 and 2001.

At that time, they were forced to cover their faces outside and faced brutal punishments such as lashing for so-called moral crimes.

Journalist Azita Nazimi told Tolo: "Twenty-five years ago, when the Taliban came, they prevented me from going to school.

"After five years of their rule, I studied for 25 years and worked hard. For the sake of our better future, we will not allow this to happen."

At a protest in Herat, protester Lina Haidari said the "rights and achievements of women, which we have worked and fought for over 20 years must not be ignored" under Taliban rule, according to a video of the event from Getty Images.

"I want to say that I was forced to stay at home for the crime of being a student 20 years ago. And now 20 years later, for the crime of being a teacher and a woman."

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