Taliban fire into the air in Kabul to break up a women’s protest

About forty residents wanted to demand the right to work and education, but the Islamist fighters in power immediately put an end to the demonstration.

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On August 15, 2021, the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan, after a false attack launched after the withdrawal of US forces. As the first anniversary of this event approaches, about forty women tried to demonstrate in Kabul (Afghanistan) to demand the right to work and education on Saturday, August 13. They hardly had time. Five minutes into the march, a group of Taliban fighters dispersed them, firing into the air in bursts.

United behind the slogan Bread, work and freedomThe demonstrators had set an appointment in front of the Ministry of Education. In particular they carried a banner on which one could read: “August 15 Black Day”referring to the date of the Taliban’s capture of Kabul in 2021. “Justice, justice, we are tired of ignorance!” They, too, chanted, for only a few minutes. Because the march led to an immediate violent reaction from the Taliban.

Men in military uniforms armed with assault rifles blocked a junction in front of the demonstrators and began shooting in the air for long seconds. An AFP journalist indicated that one of them simulated shooting by aiming at protesters. Some of the protesters then took refuge in nearby shops, where they were chased by Islamist fighters and beaten with rifle butts.

The Taliban, despite their initial promise of a looser system than when they took power between 1996 and 2001, impose severe restrictions on women. On March 23, they closed girls’ high schools and colleges, just hours after their long-announced reopening. In early May, the Taliban’s supreme leader ordered women to wear the niqab in public, preferring the burqa. Women are also barred from many government jobs and prevented from traveling alone outside their city.

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