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Women’s rights group calls against whitewashing the Taliban

The Saturday Purple Movement, a women-led group of protestors, has recently launched a campaign, urging the international community to heighten pressures on the Taliban and not “whitewash” them.

“We call on everyone to join our campaign against whitewashing and imposing the Taliban on the people of Afghanistan, particularly on women and girls.” a member of the Movement in northern Balkh province said in a video sent to KabulNow on Monday.

The Movement’s members in the northeastern Takhar province in a separate video urged the international community to increase their sanctions on the Taliban.

“Don’t remove their leaders from your sanctions list, and don’t hand over Afghanistan’s central reserves to the group” referring to nearly $9.5 billion in assets frozen by the US in a bid to keep the Taliban from accessing the money.

These protestors emphasized that the Taliban will “not change” and therefore the world “should think of alternative solutions.” An alternative solution, according to the Purple Movement, is a democratic, people-centric, and decentralized government.

Moreover, the group voiced concerns over the crackdown on their human rights.

“We demand our rights, but this shouldn’t come at the cost of the recognition of the Taliban.” The protestors noted in the video.

In a separate video, the Movement’s members in Ghazni province condemned the Qatari government for providing a platform to the Taliban.

“Don’t interfere in Afghanistan’s internal affairs, we call on Qatar and its allies,” two women holding a placard reading “Don’t Ransom the Taliban” said. “Facilitating the Taliban an international platform is akin to whitewashing them.”

Another protestor in a separate video also echoed this sentiment, adding that the “earlier facilitation of Qatar led to the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. Don’t try to impose the group on us further.”

These concerns come amid the ongoing meeting in Doha, Qatar.

The US State Department said that Special Representative for Afghanistan, Thomas West, and Special Envoy for Afghan Women, Girls, and Human Rights, Rina Amiri, will meet Taliban’s representatives and other officials in Qatar to discuss issues of critical interest in Afghanistan.

Soon after seizing power, the Taliban promised to respect women’s rights. However, the group has significantly cracked down on women and girls in the nearly two years of its rule, imposing curbs on women’s movements and denying them education, employment, social mobility, and other freedoms.