Amnesty International seeks unconditional release of activist Manizha Siddiqi from Taliban custody

Amnesty International on Friday called for the “immediate and unconditional” release of activist Manizha Siddiqi from Taliban custody.

“She has not been accused of any crime. Manizha Siddiqi should be released immediately and unconditionally,” the organization said.

According to the group, since the Taliban returned to power, women protesting the group’s harsh policies have been forcibly disappeared, arbitrarily arrested and detained, and subjected to torture and other ill-treatment.

Siddiqi was arrested Oct. 9 and reports of her transfer to the Taliban’s Pul-e-Charkhi prison surfaced Dec. 5.

Amnesty International’s findings indicate Siddiqi lacks access to a defense lawyer or regular family visits and is subject to torture, ill-treatment, and a deteriorating health state.

The organization also noted that several women involved in peaceful demonstrations were pursued by the Taliban, who violently arrested many from their homes. Some male relatives of these women were also severely beaten by Taliban fighters during their detention.