Another women’s rights activist arrested in Kabul

Farhat Popalzai, a women’s rights activist and one of the founders of a newly-established women’s movement in Kabul, was arrested by the Taliban on Tuesday afternoon.

Popalzai, 23, was working for a private organization and was arrested in Kabul on Tuesday afternoon while she was with her father, who was also taken into custody.

Popalzai’s colleagues, who wished to remain anonymous, confirmed both arrests but said they had no further details.

Another activist, Zainab Rahimi, was also arrested this week, but has been released on bail, a source from the women’s movement said. Rahimi and Popalzai had actively participated in recent protests in Kabul against the attack on Kaaj institute and the expulsion of Kabul University students late in September and at the beginning of October.

A third women’s rights activist, Zarifa Yaqubi, was also arrested by the Taliban in Kabul on Nov. 3 – while launching a new women’s movement.

Four of her male colleagues were also detained, according to Roqiya Saee, an activist.

The latest arrests, of the two activists, has added a layer of complexity to the predicament faced by women in Afghanistan who are dealing with a growing list of restrictions imposed on them by the Taliban.

This week the Taliban added to the already long list of restrictions against women when they stated that women can no longer shop at, work at or own a tailor or dressmaking shop. Women were also stopped from taking part in sports, going to gym or visiting public baths.