Taliban Forces Fire Into Air During Women’s Protest

  • Afghan women protested for equal rights on Saturday, CNN reported. 
  • Taliban forces fired into the air to disperse the crowd, the Associated Press reported.
  • The group said they’d uphold women’s rights but many women are skeptical. 

Taliban forces fired into the air to disperse protests by Afghan women demanding equal rights on Saturday, the Associated Press reported.

Afghan women protested in the streets of Kabul on Saturday, the third demonstration this week, CNN reported. 

“We are here to gain human rights in Afghanistan,” 20-year-old protester Maryam Naiby told the AP. “I love my country. I will always be here.”

The AP reported that Saturday’s march began peacefully, with protesters honoring Afghan soldiers who died fighting the Taliban by hanging a wreath outside Afghanistan’s Defense Ministry. As protesters marched towards the presidential palace, Taliban forces intervened, asking what they wanted. 

Sudaba Kabiri, a 24-year-old university student, told one of the Taliban officers that Islam gave women rights and they wanted the Taliban to honor them, the AP reported.

As the women approached the presidential palace, Taliban forces fired into the air, forcing the crowd to flee, the AP reported. TOLO News also reported that the Taliban used tear gas to disperse the protesters.

The Taliban took over Kabul on August 15, and thousands of Afghans have attempted to flee fearing a repressive regime similar to the last time the group was in power from 1996 to 2001.

The group has promised to uphold women’s rights and allow them access to education and work. However, many women and activists are skeptical the group will uphold that promise, and there have already been instances where the group’s spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid announced that women should stay home for their own safety during a press conference late last month, CNN reported. 

The New York Times also reported that safehouses for women across the country began to close as the Taliban took over. 

Most of the shelter directors for Women for Afghan Women 32 shelters across the country closed their shelters burning records as they left to protect the identities of women who sought their care, the Times reported. 

“Our shelters, our women’s protection centers, are gone. It is highly unlikely that most of the work we do for women, we will be able to do as we have done it,” Sunita Viswanath, the co-founder of Women for Afghan Women told the Times. 

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