Press release no. 9 – 5 September 2023
We have just received this message from the Spontaneous Movement of Afghan Women.
“The Spontaneous Movement of Afghan Women would like to suggest to the International Committee for the Defence of Afghan Women that it organize campaigns, actions and rallies on 7 October 2023 throughout the world, in support of the rights of the Afghan women oppressed by the Taliban regime, and to put pressure on governments – particularly the major powers – to grant immediate and unconditional asylum to Afghan women and women activists who are being hunted down and threatened with death because they have dared to fight for their rights.
“Why 7 October? Because it is a painful date in the memory of the Afghan people. It was on 7 October 2001 that the government of the United States, leading a vast coalition of governments and NATO, launched its so-called ‘war on terror’ in Afghanistan, followed by twenty years of occupation during which the ‘mother of all bombs’ was used, causing the loss of tens of thousands of lives of men, women and children.
“In 2001, the US government overthrew the Taliban regime, handing power largely to the forces of the ‘Northern Alliance’, made up of religious fundamentalists, warlords, human rights abusers and war criminals. Then, on 15 August 2021, the US government reinstated the Taliban to power, who since then have continued to take measures that exclude women from all aspects of public life: they are banned from working, from getting an education, and even from walking in the street and in public places.
“Through the International Committee, we want to urge all human rights organizations, all defenders of women’s rights, all workers’ unions, all youth organizations and all conscientious individuals to support this international day on 7 October and to actively take part in it.
“The voices of oppressed Afghan women must be heard, and governments that claim to respect women’s rights must stop signing agreements and deals with the misogynist Taliban regime. The Taliban regime must not be supported either politically or financially, and should not under any circumstances be recognized. The women’s protest movement inside Afghanistan must be given help, and women who are threatened and in danger should immediately be granted asylum“.
We appeal to all those who support the International Committee for the Defence of Afghan Women and its activities, in particular those who have supported the two European tours of activists from the Spontaneous Movement of Afghan Women.
Please answer the call from our sisters in Afghanistan!
Together, let us call rallies and pickets in scores of cities around the world on 7 October, gathering as many people as possible, in solidarity with their struggle.
On our banners, signs and posters let us demand that the governments of the major powers grant immediate and unconditional asylum to the Afghan women activists being threatened and persecuted.
…Then publish and circulate photos of these Saturday 7 October rallies all over the world and in Afghanistan, so that our sisters in Afghanistan and all those who support their struggle in their country know that they are not alone!
Rubina Jamil (Pakistan), Christel Keiser (France), for the International Committee