We are getting extremely worrying information from Taliban-invaded Afghanistan. Jihadists are going door-to-door in search of young girls and women, raping and abducting them and finally holding them captive with the nefarious goal of turning them into sex slaves. Anyone confronting to such cruelties are being brutally murdered.
Take the case of Najja, a mother of three young sons and daughter in a small village in northern Afghanistan. Taliban fighter knocked on Najja’s door. Her daughter Manizha (25) told CNN, the family knew Taliban were coming, her mother had told her they would done the same thing the previous three days, demanding Najja cook food for up to 15 jihadists.
“My mother told them, ‘I am poor, how can I cook for you?”, said Manizha. “(The Taliban) started beating her. My mother collapsed, and they hit her with their guns — AK47s”.
Manizha said she yelled at the fighters to stop. They paused for a moment before throwing a grenade into the next room and fleeing as the flames spread, she said. The mother of four died from the beating.
The Taliban denied killing Najia, the mother in Faryab province, but their words are contradicted by witnesses and local officials who confirmed the death of a 45-year-old woman whose home was set alight.
A neighbor who yelled at the men to stop said many women in Najia’s village are the widows of Afghan soldiers. They earn a living selling milk, but the Taliban “won’t allow that,” she said. “We don’t have men in our house, what shall we do? We want schools, clinics and freedom like other women, men — other people”.
While Taliban are asking Afghan girls and women to wear burqa, some women said they had no time to buy a burqa to comply with Taliban rules that women should be covered up and accompanied by a male relative when they leave the house.
To Afghanistan’s women, the flowing cloth represents the sudden and devastating loss of rights gained over 20 years – the right to work, study, move and even live in peace – that they fear will never be regained.
When the Taliban last ruled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001, they closed girls’ schools and banned women from working.
After the US invaded in 2001, restrictions on women eased, and even as the war raged, a local commitment to improving women’s rights, supported by international groups and donors, led to the creation of new legal protections.
In 2009, the Elimination of Violence Against Women law criminalized rape, battery and forced marriage and made it illegal to stop women or girls from working or studying.
Farzana Kochai, who was serving as a member of the Afghan Parliament, told CNN she doesn’t know what comes next. “There has been no clear announcement about the form of the government in the future – do we have a parliament in the future government or not?” she said.
She’s also concerned about her future freedoms as a woman. “This is something that concerns me more,” she said. “Every woman is thinking about this. We are just trying to have a clue … would women be allowed to work and to occupy a job or not?”
The unfortunate reply to Farzana Kochai’s question is negative. The Taliban will never allow women to continue practicing their rights, which they have been since 2001. In fact, this time Taliban’s agenda is establishing Caliphate in Afghanistan. Meaning, things would be much worse than that of pre-2001 scenarios.
Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said Monday that under the Taliban girls would be allowed to study. “Schools will be open and the girls and the women, they will be going to schools, as teachers, as students,” he said.
But stories from locals on the ground paint a different picture — and there’s a deep mistrust of militants who caused such misery under their last rule.
In July, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission said in areas controlled by the Taliban, women had been ordered not to attend health services without a male guardian. TV was banned, and teachers and students were instructed to wear turbans and grow beards.
Religious scholars, government officials, journalists, human rights defenders and women had become victims of targeted killings, the commission said. One of them was Mina Khairi, a 23-year-old killed in a car bombing in June. Her father, Mohammad Harif Khairi, who also lost his wife and another daughter in the blast, said the young broadcaster had been receiving death threats for months.
When the Taliban last controlled Afghanistan, women who disobeyed orders were beaten.
Don’t believe Taliban propaganda, says Afghan female pilot
The first female Air Force pilot in Afghanistan’s history spoke out on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday to warn others that the Taliban will “hurt women the most”.
“Unfortunately, my family is still there. And since I have heard what happened in Afghanistan, I cannot sleep, I cannot get my mind together, I am so in fear for their security. And, of course, it hasn’t been only about me,” Rahmani said.
Rahmani, 29, said that her “family and parents are in danger.” Rahmani’s parents have been “targeted by the Taliban” as they have supported her throughout her career.
The pilot escaped Afghanistan to the U.S. in 2015 after becoming famous for being the first female Afghan Air Force pilot since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Her fame was met with scorn from the Taliban and she said they have been sending her death threats since 2013.
Rahmani said that “she does not believe” claims from Taliban leaders that they will respect women’s rights.
“The world will be the witness of the Taliban. They are going to stone a woman in a Kabul stadium again for nothing”.
Even as Afghanistan’s resurgent Taliban pledged to respect “women’s rights” in a propaganda blitz Tuesday, fighters from the group shot and killed a woman in Takhar province after she went out in public without a burqa.
And in Kabul, Taliban vehicles packed with armed militants were recorded on video patrolling residential areas for activists and government workers. Gunshots can be heard as they accelerate down the street.
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