Taliban intensifies dress code crackdown, detains more women in Kabul

KABUL, Afghanistan — The Taliban’s ongoing campaign against perceived dress code violations led to the detention of several women in Kabul’s Khair Khana area on Sunday, with additional detentions reported in the Taimani area, sources revealed.

The crackdown, which primarily targets women for “bad hijab” or failure to adhere to the Taliban’s dress standards, has escalated since last week, beginning in western Kabul.

Sources indicated that the recent arrests in the Khairkhana area occurred from Hotel-e-Parwan to Gulayee Park.

The Taliban’s Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice acknowledged the detention of women in western Kabul for “improper dressing,” but did not disclose the number of detainees.

Reports suggest a broader pattern of such detentions across Kabul.

In a concerning development, sources in Kabul reported that family members seeking the release of detained women were coerced into protesting in favor of the Taliban’s version of the hijab. Despite their compliance, Taliban officials have not released the detainees.

The increasing number of arrests over clothing violations has heightened fear and led to further restrictions for women and girls in Kabul, with many reporting a surge in detentions for non-compliance with the Taliban’s dress code.

Women’s rights activists in the area have criticized the Taliban for not providing information on the detainees to their families.

The detentions have drawn widespread condemnation from Afghan citizens, political figures, and parties, who have described them as a form of women’s kidnapping by the Taliban.

Echoing these concerns, the United Nations special rapporteur for Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, has called for an immediate cessation of these arrests by the Taliban.