Women in Panjshir ask the world to listen to them

A screenshot of women’s gathering at a house in Abshar district in Panjshir, July 19, 2022.

A group of women at a small gathering at a house in Panjshir protested the killing of a woman by the Taliban, calling for an end to “atrocities” by members of the group in the province.

The women read out their joint statement in a video sent to the media, a copy of which was obtained by Amu TV.

A representative of the protesting women said that Sharifa, 45, a resident of Abshar district, was killed by the Taliban when she was on the way to take food to her husband on Saturday, July 16, in Abshar district of Panjshir.

The women held small banners which read “justice for Panjshir residents,” justice for Panjshir women,” “justice for Afghanistan,” “stop killing the Tajiks,” and “why the world is silent on the killing of Panjshir residents.”

The women said that male members of families in Panjshir cannot raise their voices towards incidents like this over the fear of being suppressed by the Taliban; therefore, they held the small but important event to ask the international community not to stay silent towards the treatment of the Taliban to civilians in the province.

They claimed that the Taliban had no control over their lower-ranking members and that these members are doing anything they want and that there is no one to hold them responsible.

“Women and girls in Panjshir are not safe, they cannot commute freely, and the Taliban’s atrocities are increasing every day… The world’s silence on these crimes is a shame,” the women said in their statement.

The Taliban did not comment on the incident.

Afghan women held many protests in the first months after the fall of Kabul. Their main demands have been the reopening of girls’ schools, attention to women’s rights and the return of women to their offices.

This comes as Amnesty International released a report on June 16 about the use of torture, extrajudicial executions and arbitrary arrest of civilians by the Taliban in Panjshir province.

According to the watchdog, on June 12, 2022, the Taliban shot dead Murzataza, a resident of Hesa-Awal district of Panjshir who reportedly was also suffering from mental illness.

On 4 June 2022, the spokesperson for the Taliban governor for Panjshir in a video statement to the media said that fewer than 40 people were arrested. One of those arrested, Abdul Munir Amini, was reportedly tortured to death, according to Amnesty International findings.

Media reports suggest that a larger number of civilians have been arbitrarily arrested from various different districts of Panjshir in late May and the beginning of June.

Taliban has rejected the findings by Amnesty International as baseless.