Richard Bennet calls for release of women protesters

Richard Bennet calls for the immediate release of women protesters

The UN Special Rapporteur Richard Bennet has called for the “immediate unconditional release” of three women who were arrested on Sunday by the Taliban while protesting against the group’s bans on women’s education, work, and freedom.

“Yesterday in Kabul, when education for girls above grade 6 should have resumed Taliban again forcefully broke up a peaceful women’s protest calling for right to education,” Bennet said in a tweet on Monday. “Reportedly #FatemehMohammadi, #MalaliHashemi, #RuqiyaSa‘i were arrested.”

A group of women took to the streets in Kabul on Sunday chanting slogans for justice, freedom, and women’s rights in protest to the Taliban’s continued closure of secondary schools and universities for women and girls across the country.

Accusing the United Nations of remaining silent over the issue, these women protesters called on the United Nations and the international community to support the women and girls in Afghanistan.

They marched the street until the Taliban forces reached their venue and violently dispersed their protest. Additionally, the Taliban arrested Fatema Mohammadi, Malalai Hashemi, and Ruqaia Saeei among the protesters.

Primarily sources confirmed to KabulNow that four women, including another protester named Yaqoot Mandegar, had been arrested by the Taliban.

In March 2022, the Taliban banned secondary schooling for girls and in December of the same year they prohibited women and girls from university studies and as well as work for NGOs.

Despite the Taliban’s heavy crackdown on protests, women continued to stage protests against the group’s restrictive policies on women in many provinces, particularly in Kabul. The Taliban, however, have always violently suppressed these protests and detained some of the protesters.