A protest in Kabul demanding women’s rights under the new Taliban government in Afghanistan turned violent after the participants tried to move towards the Presidential Palace were forcefully stopped by the insurgents, a media report said.
The TOLO News report said the Taliban special forces used tear gas to stop the protesters on Saturday afternoon who marched towards the Presidential Palace from the Pul-e-Mahmoud Khan area in the capital city.
The Taliban said that they were forced to use tear gas as the protesters “went out of control”.
Suraya, a civil society activist, told TOLO News: “We were joined by a group of women to defend our rights and were moving towards the Palace when the Taliban attacked us, fired tear gas, and ‘beat’ a number of women.”
Media activist Abdulhaq Imad said that the “protesters were moving toward the Presidential Palace, the Foreign Ministry, and the Sedarat Palace, which are all within the safe zone, and no one is allowed to enter those areas. The Taliban tried many times to prevent them but finally, they had to stop the women from moving toward the Palace.”
Saturday’s protest was the second in a row and most of the participants were women. A similar rally was also staged in Herat last week. The women’s march began peacefully. Demonstrators laid a wreath outside Afghanistan’s Defense Ministry to honor Afghan soldiers who died fighting the Taliban before marching on to the presidential palace.
“We are here to gain human rights in Afghanistan,” said 20-year-old protester Maryam Naiby. “I love my country. I will always be here.”
After the fall of Kabul on August 15, the Taliban turned away several female presenters working at RTA (the national radio and television facilitate in Afghanistan) and did not let them continue working at the station.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has also said that women can work under Islamic principles, without providing further details.