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Afghan Women Detained by Taliban Describe Abuse and Torture

Afghan Women Detained by the Taliban

The Taliban arbitrarily arrested three women during a single raid on a safe house in Kabul in February 2022. The Taliban authorities held them and their family member for several weeks as the Interior Ministry in apparent retaliation for their involvement in planning and participating in women’s rights protests. After their release, they were able to flee the country.

The women said they were wrongfully detained with their families, including small children, and described torture and other severe mistreatment in custody. They experienced threats, beatings, dangerous conditions of confinement, denial of due process, abusive conditions of release, and other abuses. The authorities assaulted and administered electric shocks to detained male relatives.

The women’s description of their experiences sheds light on the Taliban’s treatment of women protesters in custody and the Taliban’s efforts to silence the protest movement.

“It’s difficult to overstate the incredible bravery of these and other Afghan women who protest against Taliban abuses,” said Heather Barr, associate women’s rights director at Human Rights Watch. “These women’s stories show how deeply threatened the Taliban feel by their activities, and the brutal lengths the Taliban go to try to silence them.” Read more

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