Kabul: The newly formed interior minister has issued an order to end all protests in the country - unless demonstrators get prior permission, including approval of slogans and banners. The move comes after days of demonstrations that have brought heavy-handed assaults on protesters.
Protests by Afghan women against Taliban restrictions that began in Herat on September 2 have spread to Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif, as per a report by hrw.org. On September 4, around 100 women gathered in front of the presidential palace – now the Taliban’s command center in Kabul – carrying banners and chanting slogans for an equal society.
Afghan women in hijabs have been demanding the terrorist organisation not to deprive them from public life. Taliban security forces have been reacting violently to these protests. In Kabul they stopped the women and beat at least 10 of them.
Dozens of women in Kabul and the north-eastern Afghan province of Badakhshan have protested against the formation of an all-male interim Taliban government to rule Afghanistan, as per a BBC report.
Demonstrators said they would not accept a government with no women ministers. Some women were reportedly beaten before the protests were dispersed.
The Taliban had earlier warned that such protests were illegal. They have said protesters needed permission to march, and should not use what they called abusive language.
It's unlikely the women who have been leading near daily protest demanding their rights from the country's hardline Islamic rulers will be allowed to protest under the new rules. In the words of the ministry's statement: "It is announced to all citizens not to attempt at the present time to hold any demonstrations under any name whatsoever."
Taliban authorities are obligated under international human rights law to respect and uphold the right of everyone to peacefully protest. Concerned governments should press the Taliban to protect freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
As governments assess their relationship with the Taliban in the weeks ahead, it will be critical for the Taliban to demonstrate they are willing to accommodate diverse communities, tolerate dissent, and meet the demands of women and girls for their fundamental rights.
With inputs from AP