HRW calls for inquiries into fate of women protestors

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Human Rights Watch expressed concerns about the fate of female protestors who may be held by the Islamic Emirate in the central province of Bamiyan.

“We are very concerned to hear that some of the women involved in the incident and in the event in Bamiyan may have been detained by the Taliban. This of course reminds everyone of the incident over months ago when the Taliban detained women protestors and denied having them in custody and held them in abusive conditions for several weeks,” said Heather Barr, associate director of the Women’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch.

This comes as some reports claim that more than 10 female protestors were detained in Bamiyan. According to the reports, the female students were invited by the Islamic Emirate to a gathering to discuss the reopening of schools beyond grade six but the gathering focused on frozen assets of Afghanistan—which prompted a strong reaction by the female participants.

Some female rights activists in Bamiyan claimed that the female protestors were arrested after they protested the gathering.

“Three of the student protestors, who were detained last week on charges of tearing the banner of the Taliban, have been freed, but there is no information about the fate of another seven,” said Somiya, a women’s rights activist.

“It is not important that the Taliban accepts this issue or not—takes responsibility for it or not— what is important is that the detentions are contrary to Sharia and all types of human rights for the people of Afghanistan (as determined by the) international community as well as international organizations,” said Monisa Mubariz, a women’s rights activist.

Meanwhile, a video on social media shows women and girls tearing banners on the stage. Barr called for clarification over the fate of the women.

“We have called on the international community, particularly the United Nations and other embassies to enquire urgently about what the situation is,” she said. However, provincial officials denied the arrest of women protestors.

“The arrests of the female students in Bamiyan are rumors and are not true. The female students are under the full support of the Islamic Emirate. There has been no detentions,” said Sabor Sayghani, the provincial governor’s spokesman.—Tolo News

 

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