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Taliban break up women’s demo in Kabul as protesters call for girls to be allowed to go to school

Taliban fighters shot guns and tore at banners while breaking up a rare rally in the Afghanistan capital of Kabul on Saturday (August 13). 

The women’s demo gathered just days before the one year anniversary of the hardline Islamists’ take over, and saw around 40 women march in front of the education ministry building. 

Women paraded with banners and placards, some which read ‘August 15 is a black day’ before being dispersed by Taliban fighters who shot their guns into the air. 

Women paraded with banners, some not wearing the face veils they have been instructed to, and heels

The women's demo gathered just days before the one year anniversary of the hardline Islamists' take over

The women’s demo gathered just days before the one year anniversary of the hardline Islamists’ take over

Women chanted 'Bred, work and freedom' and shouted, 'Justice, justice. We're fed up with ignorance'

Women chanted ‘Bred, work and freedom’ and shouted, ‘Justice, justice. We’re fed up with ignorance’ 

The protestors walked down the street in front of the education ministry building to show their anger at the restrictions being imposed particularly against women

The protestors walked down the street in front of the education ministry building to show their anger at the restrictions being imposed particularly against women 

According to reports, Taliban fighters fired guns into the air to disperse the protesters

According to reports, Taliban fighters fired guns into the air to disperse the protesters 

Protestors filmed the demonstration from their own perspectives on their phones

Women can be seen carrying banners and shouting in the footage shared online

Video footage showed some of the protestors marching through the streets

Some protestors refused to wear face veils and wore heels in a bid to oppose the reversal of many of the gains made by women in the two decades of US intervention in the country before the Taliban seized control once again. 

Women chanted ‘bread, work and freedom’ and shouted, ‘Justice, justice. We’re fed up with ignorance.’ 

According to reports, some protestors took refuge in nearby shops but were chased and beaten by Taliban soldiers with their rifle butts.   

Some footage shared on social media showed women fleeing as gun shots can be heard in the background, with the woman filming the scene repeating, ‘I am not afraid.’ 

Another clip shows a group of women standing together and speaking to the camera from indoors. According to tweets, one says: ‘We protested today but the Taliban shot on us. 

‘We are put in a pharmacy and they don’t let us go’. 

And in another, women can be seen marching down the street, chanting and raising their fists and posters. 

One of the organisers of the march said Taliban fights tore their banners and confiscated phones as they dispersed the rally. 

According to reports, some protestors took refuge in nearby shops but were chased and beaten by Taliban soldiers with their rifle butts

According to reports, some protestors took refuge in nearby shops but were chased and beaten by Taliban soldiers with their rifle butts

The women were dispersed by Taliban fighters, who they claim tore up their banners and their mobile phones

The women were dispersed by Taliban fighters, who they claim tore up their banners and their mobile phones 

Many restrictions have been reintroduced in the last year, particularly on women, to comply with the Taliban movement's vision of Islam

Many restrictions have been reintroduced in the last year, particularly on women, to comply with the Taliban movement’s vision of Islam

Women filmed some of the demonstration on their phones

Videos were uploaded online to show what was happening in Afghanistan's capital

In one video, women were seen fleeing as shots were fired into the air 

‘Unfortunately, the Taliban from the intelligence service came and fired in the air, Zholia Parsi said. 

‘They dispersed the girls, tore our banners and confiscated the mobile phones of many girls.’ 

According to reports, some journalists covering the protest were also beaten by the Taliban fighters. 

Many restrictions have been reintroduced in the last year, particularly on women, to comply with the Taliban movement’s vision of Islam. 

Tens of thousands of girls have been shut out of secondary schools, and women have been barred from returning to many government jobs. 

Women have also been banned from travelling alone on long trips and are only permitted to visit public gardens and parks in the capital on days separate from men. 

Earlier this year, the country’s supreme leader and chief of the Taliban, Hibatullah Akhundzada, ordered that women should fully cover themselves in public, including their faces. 

The United Nations and rights groups and repeatedly slammed the Taliban government for imposing the restrictions. 

Tens of thousands of girls have been shut out of secondary schools, and women have been barred from returning to many government jobs

Tens of thousands of girls have been shut out of secondary schools, and women have been barred from returning to many government jobs

Women have also been banned from travelling alone on long trips and are only permitted to visit public gardens and parks in the capital on days separate from men

Women have also been banned from travelling alone on long trips and are only permitted to visit public gardens and parks in the capital on days separate from men

Protestors were forced to flee and take refuge in nearby shops when Taliban fighters descended to break up the rally

Protestors were forced to flee and take refuge in nearby shops when Taliban fighters descended to break up the rally 

The rally was held on Saturday (August 13) - just two days before the one-year anniversary of the Taliban take over

The rally was held on Saturday (August 13) – just two days before the one-year anniversary of the Taliban take over 

Richard Bennett, UN special rapporteur on human rights in Afghanistan told reporters that the policies showed a ‘pattern of absolute gender segregation and are aimed at making women invisible in the society’ during a visit to Kabul in May. 

Initially, some Afghan women pushed back against the restrictions in the form of small protests. But the ringleaders were soon rounded up and held incommunicado, while denying they had been detained.   

The takeover of the country paved the way for a collapse in the economy and the freezing of Afghan and donor funds, which created a humanitarian crisis. 

In the months since the takeover, most art, culture and pastimes have also been banned.  


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