Women’s rights activists released hours after remaining in Taliban custody

A group of women attend a protest in Kabul on Oct. 2022. File photo.

At least eight women rights activists who were arrested by the Taliban from a residence north of Kabul have been released, the Afghanistan Women’s Unity and Solidarity Movement said in a statement on Monday.

The women were associated with the Afghanistan Women’s Unity and Solidarity Movement, a women’s movement advocating for the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan under Taliban rule.

A statement issued by the movement revealed that the activists were freed following a joint appeal from concerned citizens and the general public.

The women have promised not to attend any protesting move going forward, said a source.

The women had been apprehended by a contingent of Taliban members from a residence located in the Khairkhana area north of Kabul.

Though complete details regarding the identities of the detained women remain undisclosed, names like Hajar, Khatol, Lima, Tuba Atayee, Farida Muhib, Hasina Sarwari, and two family memebrs of Hasina Sarwari.

The activists, who championed women’s rights, had convened to participate in a protest organized within the locality.

“The women had convened for a planned event, but due to the presence of the Taliban, they were effectively trapped within the area and unable to disperse,” said a source aware of the matter.

A video obtained by Amu showcased the moment when a group of Taliban members entered the premises, attempting to detain the women involved.

In the previous week, a coalition of women activists launched a week-long campaign against the Taliban’s imposed restrictions on women and girls in Afghanistan. Through this initiative, they vociferously advocated for the abolishment of all constraints that have curtailed women’s rights and freedoms within society.

Over the last two years, the Taliban has frequently disrupted gatherings of this nature, particularly those expressing dissent against its policies.

The Taliban has yet to issue a comment regarding the arrest of the activists.