Amnesty International calls for end to Taliban’s crackdown on women

Amnesty International demanded the Taliban immediately cease their crackdown on women in Afghanistan, including “the detention of those not complying with stringent dress codes requiring only their eyes to be visible”.

The global rights group condemned these actions as severe violations of women’s freedoms of movement and expression.

According to the Taliban’s Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, several women in Kabul were detained for improper veiling, though no details on the number of detainees were provided.

Naseer Ahmad Faiq, Afghanistan’s charge d’affaires to the United Nations, voiced significant concerns, saying the Taliban’s governance lacks “intellectual security and peace of mind.”

Faiq highlighted that respect for women and honor protection are deeply rooted in Afghan culture and Islamic values, noting these principles were upheld in previous Afghan governments.

Faiq criticized the Taliban’s practices, questioning their legitimacy and adherence to Sharia law and Afghan cultural norms. “How can a regime professing Sharia law and Afghan cultural values justify arbitrarily arresting and detaining women, especially without female officers and clear justifications?” Faiq asked.

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.”