UN expert demands ‘immediate’ release of women detained by Taliban for ‘bad hijab’

Richard Bennett, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Afghanistan, on Friday urged the immediate release of women arrested by the Taliban for wearing what the group deems as ‘bad hijab’.

Bennett, expressing his concerns on a social media platform, stated, “The recent arrests of women in Kabul, Afghanistan, for ‘bad hijab,’ which the Taliban has confirmed, sadly indicate increasing restrictions on women’s freedom of expression and a broader undermining of their rights.”

“They should all be released immediately and unconditionally,” he added.

The Women’s Political Participation Network reported on Thursday that the Taliban had detained ‘dozens’ of women in western Kabul over the last three days under the pretext of “bad hijab”.

According to the organization, these women were taken to an undisclosed location, and their families have not been informed by the Taliban. Women’s rights activists are calling for the women’s unconditional release and for serious intervention by the United Nations.

However, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid denied any arbitrary arrests, claiming that any detentions are conducted in accordance with the judicial system of the Taliban.

The Taliban has previously detained several women’s rights activists and those advocating for girls’ education, with at least four such activists reportedly still in Taliban custody.”