Two women ‘beaten’ by Taliban member in Bamiyan

Two women were publicly “slapped” by a member of the Taliban’s vice and virtue office in the city of Bamiyan for not having “proper hijab” on Friday, April 21, said two eyewitnesses.

The residents, who wished not to be named, said the incident happened at around 4 pm local time on April 21.

They said the Taliban member spoke to the two young women for a few minutes after that and got their commitment to observe hijab going forward.

Based on a Taliban instruction published last year, anyone who “violates” hijab rules will be advised first, and then their family will be informed, and the last resort will be “beating” or imprisonment.

Taliban officials in Bamiyan did not comment on the incident.

This comes as Mahdi Rasikh, a former member of Afghanistan’s parliament, said that Taliban has forced residents of Bamiyan and Daikundi provinces, the majority of whom are Shias, to break their fast on April 21, while they normally celebrate Eid ul-Fitr a day after it is announced by Saudi Arabia or Sunni-majority Muslim nations.

The United Nations has asked the Taliban to protect the rights of religious minorities in Afghanistan as the Taliban administration is accused of discrimination against such groups in Afghan society.

Taliban officials in Kabul held at least two meetings with Shia and Hazara community representatives last month, including a meeting by Taliban deputy prime minister Mohammad Abdul Kabir, assuring them of protecting their rights, according to Taliban statements.