Afghan women protest against killing of former troops, demand equal rights

Dozens of women marched in Kabul, accusing the country's new Taliban authorities of killing members of the former regime and calling for women's rights.

Let's take a look:

Accuse authorities of covertly killing soldiers

A crowd of women marched through the Afghan capital on Tuesday, accusing Taliban authorities of covertly killing soldiers who served the former US-backed regime.

(Photograph:AFP)

Demand justice

Around 30 women gathered near a mosque in the centre of Kabul and marched a few hundred metres chanting "justice, justice" before they were stopped by Taliban forces.

The Taliban also tried to prevent journalists from covering the march, organised against the "mysterious murders of young people, particularly the country's former soldiers", according to social media invitations.

(Photograph:AFP)

Journalists detained

The Taliban tried to prevent journalists from covering the march, organised against the "mysterious murders of young people, particularly the country's former soldiers", according to social media invitations.

Taliban fighters briefly detained a group of reporters and confiscated equipment from some photographers, deleting images from their cameras before returning them.
 

(Photograph:AFP)

Intervention to block demonstrations

Since the hardliners returned to power in August they have effectively banned unsanctioned protests and frequently intervene to block demonstrations against their austere brand of Islam.

The protest comes weeks after separate reports by the United Nations, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said there were credible allegations of more than 100 extrajudicial killings by the Taliban since their takeover.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Ratcheting restrictions

The protesters also aired objections to the ratcheting restrictions women are facing under Taliban rule.

The government issued new guidelines at the weekend banning women from travelling long distances unless escorted by a close male relative.

(Photograph:AFP)

Severe limitation on employment opportunities

During its previous rule from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban banned women from leaving the house without a male relative and full face and head covering and girls from receiving education, and have severely limited employment opportunities for women.

The Taliban say they have changed and are working on getting more girls back to school after allowing high schools for girls in some provinces to open. But many women and rights advocates remain sceptical.

The Taliban has been under pressure from the international community, who have mostly frozen funds for Afghanistan, to commit to upholding women's rights since the hardline Islamist group took over the country on August 15.

(Photograph:AFP)

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