July 12, 2020

Taliban continue to oppress women in Afghanistan, according to HRW

The Taliban continue to apply their harsh measures against women and curtail social liberties in Afghanistan, according to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report in a report released today that contradicts the radical group’s recent statements about easing some of their rigorous postulates and the abolition of its harsh regulations.

The report is based on 138 interviews, conducted between January 2019 and April 2020, with teachers, elders, students, community members and the Taliban in Kunduz, Wardak and Helmand provinces.


Although the Taliban say they “no longer oppose” girls’ education, on the ground “very few (of them) actually allow them to attend school after puberty”, while “others do not allow” it). do “not at all,” the report said.

Although the Taliban have allowed girls ‘schools to operate in the Kunduz districts, there are no girls’ schools in the areas they control in southern Helmand, and they have implemented the payment of “taxes” to those who teach in those of neighboring regions. .


According to HRW, in Taliban-run courts, women and girls who are victims of domestic violence do not receive “even the limited chance of justice” that exists in state courts.

With respect to freedom of expression, the report denounces that the media can only enter the areas controlled by the Taliban as long as they get their explicit permission.

Furthermore, “Taliban commanders have threatened and attacked journalists for critical reports,” he said.

The report also said that the Taliban in some districts prohibit the use of television and smartphones and that residents who can use them do so clandestinely.


In the Taliban-controlled districts, the “morality” controls imposed since 1996, when the radical group took power in Afghanistan and established a “police against vice and by virtue”, continue to operate.

According to HRW, the Taliban monitor residents’ adherence to its rules on clothing, beard length, or men’s attendance at Friday prayers.

Any contact with the Afghan government is prohibited in communities under Taliban control, and those who do are accused of being spies, according to the investigation.

The international organization’s accusations denounce a gap between the Taliban’s official statements on rights and the restrictive positions adopted by them on the ground.

According to HRW, the Taliban are far from an internal consensus on their own policies, so that “reaching an agreement on human rights provisions in a peace agreement (with the Afghan Government) will not necessarily result in its implementation at the local level” .


“This is completely wrong and we reject this report. Human Rights Watch prepares these reports only for propaganda and tries to defame the Islamic Emirate (as the Taliban call themselves), “Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Efe.

Referring to the accusations about the right to education, the spokesman assured that although they are at war, they have done “everything possible” to keep the schools open.

“We absolutely do not ban girls’ schools,” said the spokesman, who also denied all allegations related to freedom of expression or communication and said that “never” have been banned.

Representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban are expected to hold their first direct meeting in Doha in the coming weeks with the intention of starting a peace process.

Among other topics, the parties will discuss women’s rights, freedom of expression, and other social and democratic values ​​that Afghans have won since 2002 when the Taliban were ousted from power.


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