Women Human Rights Defenders

Karen Dicker: Arbitrary Detention of Protesting Women Undermines the Stability of Afghanistan

Keren Dicker, the Chargé d’Affaires at the US Mission to Afghanistan based in Qatar demanded the release of Zarifa Yaqoubi, called Afghan women’s rights defender, and her colleagues from Taliban custody. Via a tweet on Tuesday, November 22, Dicker emphasized that “women speaking out about their rights do not threaten Afghanistan”.

More than two weeks ago, The Taliban have arrested Zarifa Yaqobi, a women’s rights activist, and four male attendees from a press conference in West Kabul.

The following days, it was also reported that the Taliban arrested Farhat Popalzai, Humaira Yusuf, and other protesting women.

“Arbitrary detention undermines stability and is certainly not peaceful.”, Keren Dicker added in her tweet.

So far, many international organizations including UNAMA, Amnesty International, and UN Human Rights have called on the Taliban for the immediate release of Zarifa Yaqoubi and her colleagues.

The Taliban have not commented on the arrest of protesting women.Since the Taliban’s return to power, the group has imposed severe restrictions on women and girls. Currently, girls above the sixth grade are not allowed to go to school, and female employees can no longer work in government offices. These restrictions have forced women to start protest rallies but the group’s de-facto regime, however, has violently dispersed these protests in different parts of the country.