Press release no. 7 – 23 June 2023
The recent report of the United Nations, which was presented by Richard Bennett, the UN special rapporteur for Afghanistan on Thursday June 15, 2023, confirms the physical and psychological torture by which the Taliban suppresses and silences the protests of Afghan women. The report called it a “widespread and systematic discrimination to which women and girls in Afghanistan are subjected.”
The UN report states that the Taliban has deprived Afghan women of all their political and social rights and created a male government without the presence of women. The report underlines that since August 2021, “one of the most illustrative examples of the systematic discrimination against women and girls in Afghanistan today is the relentless issuance of edicts, decrees, declarations and directives restricting their rights, including their freedom of movement, attire and behaviour, and their access to education, work, health and justice”.
Richard Bennett reveals in his report that the peaceful protests of women in Kabul and other provinces, who raised their voices for their denied rights, were brutally suppressed by the Taliban in order to prevent it from spreading and gaining strength. “The Taliban brutally beat the protesting women and subjected them to sexual violence and torture.” The Taliban abducted hundreds of protesting women during street protests or later from their homes at night and transferred them to unknown places. In most cases, the Taliban denied the involvement of their people in kidnapping, arresting and killing women, but after national and international pressure, they released some detained women from their official and personal prisons.
Richard Bennett points out in his report that some of the protesting women were released from the Taliban prisons on the condition that they must “cease their protest activities and remain silent about the way they were treated by (the Taliban) and also the payment” The Taliban not only imprison and torture protesting women, but also threaten, arrest, imprison and kill the family members of active protesting women and other men who defend women’s rights. As a recent example, we can mention the capture, torture and imprisonment of Professor Ismail Mashal and Matiullah Wisa by the Taliban.
In its report, the United Nations commends the bravery and resistance of Afghan women against the Taliban: “Although the women and girls are tired, their resistance and struggle for their human dignity… continue in peaceful and creative ways“.
The Spontaneous Women’s Movement has always emphasized that the United States and its allies were responsible for the current tragedy in Afghanistan, which handed over political power to the Taliban for their strategic interests without considering the fate of Afghan women. Fortunately, the United Nations report also criticizes the United States in this particular case of women, who ignored women’s rights during negotiations with the Taliban in Doha in 2020 for “political expediency “. The report states that “in the Doha agreement that paved the way for the return of the Taliban to power, there is not a single mention of women’s rights or a guarantee to preserve them.”
The Spontaneous Movement of Afghan Women asks the United Nations not only to publish and condemn the brutal acts of the Taliban against Afghan women, but to implement the necessary and effective practical measures. The United Nations and the international community should no longer witness the deprivation, torture and murder of Afghan women under the rule of the Taliban. The misogynistic Taliban should not be privileged, and no red carpet should be unrolled to recognize them in international conferences.