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Afghan activists accuse the Taliban of arresting two women who participated in a demonstration

Zakia Kawiyan has gone to live with her husband's brother. She considers that it is the safest thing to do after the disappearance of two women who, like her, participated last Sunday in a protest in Kabul against the restrictions imposed by the Taliban. There has been no news of Tamana Zaryab Paryani and Parvaneh Ibrahimkhel since they were forcibly removed from their homes by armed men on Wednesday night, along with three sisters of the former. Kawiyan and other Afghan activists warn that the repression is spreading.

“The women who protest are used to threats and problems”, confides to Newsfresh Zakia Kawiyan, co-leader of one of the groups that organized the demonstration. But what happened to Ibrahimkhel and Paryani is more serious. Nobody knows where they are. The Taliban have denied detaining them. However, the men who took them identified themselves as members of the militia's “intelligence department”. The interlocutor fears for their lives.

Before her arrest, Paryani managed to record a video on her mobile in which she asked for help and which was broadcast by the Aamaj News agency. “Help, please, the Taliban have shown up at our house… Only my sisters are at home,” she can be heard saying, very nervous. Paryani's family has confirmed the capture of Tamana and her three sisters by the Taliban, although, according to activists, they did not participate in the protests.

Paryani police spokesman Kabul, the Taliban general Mobin Khan, has mocked the video on Twitter, which he calls a “montage”. For his part, Khalil Hamraz, spokesman for the General Intelligence Directorate, has accused the activists of “defaming the new rulers of Afghanistan and their security forces to obtain asylum in the West.”

Hamraz has warned that “insults to the national and religious values ​​of Afghans will no longer be tolerated”. His words are interpreted as a reference to the demonstration on Sunday, in which Paryani apparently set fire to a burqa, the sackcloth that covers the body of women from head to toe with just a mesh at eye level. .

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Although officially the Taliban have not imposed the burqa, there are more and more more posters and recommendations in that regard. In the latest protest, in addition to demanding “equal rights” and “justice”, the women also complained about the imposition of “veils and robes”, before the militiamen dispersed them using pepper spray. At least one of the protesters ended up in hospital.

The Taliban seized power last August. In their first measures, they only asked that women respect the hijab, that is, that they cover their hair and body shapes, but they did not impose a precise model or restrict their freedom of movement. They even promised that, unlike their previous dictatorship (1996-2001), they would be able to study and work. However, reality belies them every day.

“They dictate what women should wear, how they should travel, gender segregation at work and even the type of phone they should use. ”, denounces the human rights organization Human Rights Watch in a report referring to the province of Ghazni, but which is applicable to the rest of the country.

Afghan women are not resigned to the shame that the Taliban regime condemns them. Despite the ban on demonstrations, they have continued to protest. Every day is more dangerous. Kawiyan, responsible for Communication at the Ministry of Women that the Taliban have closed down, receives continuous threats on his Facebook.

“Recently my son was shopping in a store near home, They told him that they had seen me on television and that he told me to stop doing it, ”he says in an exchange of messages. “It is true that they are terrible and monsters, but this is my country, I am not afraid and I continue to protest. I learned from my mother, who stood up to the Taliban 20 years ago, even though she was beaten and flogged several times,” she concludes.

Meeting in Oslo

EFE, Copenhagen

Members of the Taliban Government of Afghanistan are going to meet with representatives of the international community and with Afghan civil groups in Oslo from Sunday to next Tuesday, reports this Friday the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Afghan groups include women leaders, journalists, and people involved in human rights issues, humanitarian aid, and economic, social, and political issues, according to the statement.

“We are very concerned about the serious situation in Afghanistan. It is a large-scale humanitarian catastrophe for millions To help civilians in Afghanistan, the international community and Afghans from different social groups must engage in dialogue with the Taliban,” says Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt.

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