Afghanistan: Male students beaten up in Kandahar for refusing to write exams

The city of Kandahar. File photo.

Taliban on Saturday opened fire on dozens of male students at the Mirwais Nika University in the city of Kandahar as they boycotted exams in protest against the Taliban’s decision to ban their female classmates from universities.

A University official, who asked to remain anonymous, said that the students refused to sit the exam at five o’clock on Saturday at the university in protest over the Taliban’s decision. He said the Taliban responded by opening fire and beating up several students.

According to the source, the Taliban opened fire after the students had walked out of the exam venue.

“Brother! our students were not protesting, but they just left the exam venue in response to the suspension of girls’ education and wanted to go back home, but the intelligence [forces] of the Taliban began beating up the students,” he added.

Naqeeb Ahmad, a student at Mirwais Neeka university, said that they did not stage a protest, but had just refused to write the exam in a show of solidarity with their female classmates.

Photo of a student in Kandahar who says he was beaten on Saturday after a group of students refused to write exams in protest over the Taliban’s ban on women’s higher education in Afghanistan.

The Taliban-run ministry of higher education on Tuesday suspended university education for Afghan women, which drew worldwide condemnation.

Meanwhile, a number of women, including female students from universities, held protests in western Herat and northern Takhar provinces of Afghanistan on Saturday.

Herat’s protest on Saturday morning was faced with “violence” by the Taliban and many protesters were “beaten up.”

“We had no guns, we were not armed, but there were many armed people surrounding us,” one protester said on condition of anonymity

She said “many women were beaten, harshly, some by whipping and others by guns,” to disperse the protest.

Another woman, who did not want to give her name, said female protesters were chased, even down alleys in the city.

On Thursday, dozens of Afghan women staged a protest in the capital Kabul. At least five women were arrested by the Taliban, two of whom, including activist Ruqiya Saee, are still in custody.