Taliban Attacks Journalists Covering Women’s Rights Protests

The Taliban on Thursday (21/10) attacked several journalists to prevent media coverage of the women’s rights protests in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan.

About 20 women lined up from near the education ministry to the finance ministry. Wearing colorful headscarves, they chanted slogans including: “Don’t politicize Education.” The women held placards reading: “We have no right to study and work”, and” “Unemployment, poverty, hunger”, while walking hand in hand in the air.

AFP news agency reporters saw Taliban authorities allowing the women to walk freely for about an hour and a half. However, a foreign journalist was hit with the butt of a rifle by a Taliban fighter, who cursed and kicked the photographer in the back while others punched him.

Afghan women shout slogans and hold placards during a women's rights protest in Kabul, October 21, 2021.

Afghan women shout slogans and hold placards during a women’s rights protest in Kabul, October 21, 2021.

At least two more journalists were beaten as they ran away, chased by Taliban fighters who waved fists and launched kicks.

Zahra Mohammadi, the protest organizer, told AFP the women marched despite the risks. “Schools should be reopened for girls. But the Taliban took this right from us.”

It has been more than a month since high school girls have been barred from attending school, while many women have been barred from returning to work since the Taliban seized power in mid-August.

Some of the Taliban fighters guarding the march wore combat gear, including body armor, helmets and knee protectors. Others wore traditional Afghan clothes. Their weapons include the American-made M16 and AK-47 assault rifles. [ka/ab]

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