Press release no. 10 – 27 September 2023
First dates that have been announced:
San Francisco (USA): October 6 at the Federal Building (Mission and 7th Street) at 12 noon
Berlin (Germany): October 7, rally outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Paris (France): October 7, rally at 2.30pm, Place de la République
Bilbao (Spain): October 7, 11:30 am, Gobierno civil/Gobernu zibilean, Plaza Eliptika
(please let the International Committee know your meeting place and time: email@example.com)
Free Neda Parwani!
Neda Parwani, one of the women fighters of the Afghan women’s protest movement, was arrested on Tuesday, September 19, 2023 in Kabul. The Taliban arrested Mrs. Neda Parwani along with her husband and a 14-year-old son from their house in Khairkhana, Kabul and transferred them to an unknown place.
Neda Parvani fought for the right to education, the right to work and the freedom of women. The Taliban always suppress and threaten protesting women to be silent and not participate in protests against the Taliban. In the last two years, the Taliban government has arrested, tortured and killed hundreds of protesting women during the protests or later from their homes.
Right now in Afghanistan under the rule of the Taliban, hundreds of protesting women are under threat and persecution. They are forced to continue their struggle behind closed doors and adopt a difficult secret life to avoid arrest and torture by the Taliban.
The “Spontaneous Movement of Afghan Women” condemns the arrest of Neda Parwani, her husband and 14-year-old son and demands their immediate and unconditional release. We ask the international community and great powers to provide immediate asylum for women under threat and to put pressure on the Taliban to stop suppressing and imprisoning protesting women in Afghanistan.
Spontaneous Movement of Afghan Women (SMAW)
September 20, 2023
A painful story of Saleema Shabnam an activist of SMAW
“You made our family infamous with your wrong deeds. You disgraced us among our people. You put my whole family in danger of death. I don’t want you anymore, go wherever you go!” These were the first words that I was greeted with by my husband after being released from prison and returning home after 19 days.
« I oftenly participated in the protests organized by the Afghan Women’s Spontaneous Movement. On January 12, 2023, I was arrested from my home by Taliban intelligence and transferred to Polcharkhi prison in Kabul.
« My crime was that I wanted “work, bread, education and freedom” for myself and other women. I don’t want my children to grow up illiterate and miserable like me. The Taliban men beat me in prison, slapped me on my face, hit my back and legs with a stick. They threatened me with death and rape. They wanted to make me surrender so that I would not dare to join the protesting women and raise my voice in the future.
« In the tribal society and patriarchal culture of Afghanistan, the appearance of women on the road and chanting slogans for rights and freedom is considered to be an expression of disrespect for religious and patriarchal values. Whenever a woman is arrested by the police and kept in jail for days and nights, countless suspicions are created about her character and chastity. For example, her husband and family and the society as a whole think that she was sexually assaulted in prison and that she was touched by unauthorized persons. Therefore, her husband and family are no longer ready to accept her in their family.
« Even though my body was full of wounds and I was very weak and I desperately needed treatment and sympathy from my family and especially my husband, he not only didn’t hug me and didn’t support me, but he scolded me in an insulting way and closed the gate of the house.I inevitably went to my sister’s house and lived there for a few days. But very soon, my sister’s family also refused to accommodate me. Because they were afraid that the Taliban would find out and cause a security problem for them because of me.
« My heart was completely broken and I did not know who and where to seek refuge? On the one hand, the threat of the Taliban was tormenting me, and on the other hand, my husband’s baseless accusations. Finally, I managed to find one of the activists of the “Spontaneous Movement of Afghan Women” and asked her for help. Now I live with my 5 children in the “Safe House” of the SMAW.
« I would like to declare that, as long as I live, I will fight together with the “Spontaneous Movement of Afghan Women” for my right and the right to educate my children and I will not stop. But really, living in hiding is like a prison and there is a risk of arrest and death at any moment. On the one hand, the threat of the Taliban and on the other hand, the threat of my husband, who is trying to take my children away from me by force. »
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For unconditional asylum for threatened women activists and for financial support for the organization of women’s “protection houses” and clandestine schools for girls in Afghanistan.
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