Afghan women protest school attack as Taliban cracks down | Taliban News


Wearing an extended black abaya together with her face masks secured, college professor Zahra Mosawi walked the streets of the traditional Afghan metropolis of Mazar-i-Sharif to denounce incessant assaults on the Shia Muslim minority.

Mosawi, 28, carried together with her a big yellow placard with the phrase “Azadi” – or freedom – scrawled throughout it as she joined greater than 50 different colleagues and college students in an indication on Monday towards the recent attack on a learning centre in Kabul that killed 53 college students, largely younger ladies.

It was simply the most recent horrific act of violence on a facility attended by Afghanistan’s ethnic Hazaras, who’re persecuted by Sunni Muslim hardliners for his or her Shia religion. No group claimed duty.

“After Friday’s assault on harmless women within the Kaj training centre, we mentioned we have now had sufficient,” Mosawi advised Al Jazeera, referring to the institute in Kabul’s Dasht-e-Barchi space the place a suicide bomber opened fireplace after which blew himself up.

In WhatsApp teams and on social media, Mosawi and different teachers and activists mobilised to sentence the unrelenting violence on the Hazara in addition to restrictions on ladies and minorities.

“We now have to boost our voices and organise ourselves. This genocide against Hazara has to finish,” she mentioned.

College college students throughout Afghanistan took to the streets protesting the most recent assault on Hazara college students [Courtesy: Bano]

The protesters additionally demanded the reopening of women’ excessive colleges in Afghanistan, which have been closed since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan final yr. “We elevate our voices for justice and equality. We wish the fitting to work, training, and the free life of girls,” Mosawi mentioned.

Comparable demonstrations happened in Kabul, Herat and Bamiyan over the weekend, largely led by ladies from Afghanistan’s academia.

“We talked concerning the assault on Kaj centre in our school rooms on Saturday, and the way Afghan women are being prevented from training. These women have been killed as a result of they wished to study,” mentioned Soraya Alizada, 25, a pupil who joined the protests in central Bamiyan province.

She and her classmates led an indication demanding an finish to the violence towards the Hazara and the reopening of colleges for women.

Because of these attacks, many households don’t enable their daughters to participate within the college entrance examination. During which a part of the world are women and boys killed for the crime of looking for training crime?” Alizada requested.

‘Beat the ladies’

The peaceable demonstrations have been met with a Taliban backlash. Witnesses advised Al Jazeera that safety forces fired warning photographs, and video on social media from Herat and Kabul confirmed them violently dispersing protesters.

In Bamiyan, Alizada mentioned the Taliban “beat the ladies who have been demonstrating, broke their telephones, and referred to as them ‘bitches’”.

“One Taliban pointed his gun at one lady threatening to shoot her, however all of us stopped him from doing this”, she mentioned.

Within the city of Balkh, 20km (12 miles) northwest of Mazar-i-Sharif, demonstrators had it tough proper from the beginning as Taliban members locked them up inside their campus, Mosawi mentioned.

“The Taliban surrounded Balkh College from 5 instructions and didn’t enable college students to go away to take part within the protests,” she mentioned, including some finally broke out and freed their classmates to affix the demonstration.

Some protesters in Mazar-i-Sharif have been additionally overwhelmed, Mosawi mentioned. “As a result of the journalists weren’t current, the protesting women have been themselves filming the protests,” she mentioned. “However the Taliban first beat these women after which broke their cell telephones.”

Heather Barr, affiliate director of the Girls’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch, famous “how extremely harmful” it’s to protest.

“The Taliban’s response has, predictably, been brutal, together with new abusive methods comparable to locking college students of their hostels. The Taliban appear to have no tolerance in any respect for protests by ladies and women, even when the protest shouldn’t be particularly about their abuses,” mentioned Barr.

Latest analysis discovered the Taliban has completed little to guard or help focused communities after they face assault, she added.

The Taliban authorities defended the dealing with of the demonstrations.

“After they plan to protest they need to have knowledgeable us prematurely concerning the time, place and concerning the subject so we may put together for attainable threats. However sadly in Kabul, a lot of our sisters began protesting with out informing us, so the safety forces tried to forestall them,” mentioned Abdul Nafee Takoor, a spokesman for the inside ministry.

“The same factor occurred in Balkh at present though the safety forces there have been knowledgeable previous to the protest. However the protesters refused to exhibit on the place the safety forces allotted for them. As a substitute they wished to go to a different location, and that’s the reason safety forces tried to cease them,” he advised Al Jazeera.

Regardless of the Taliban crackdown on the demonstrations, Mosawi mentioned she was inspired by the big turnout, which included Afghan males.

“That is the primary time that males stood by the ladies, though solely a restricted quantity joined. However I’m completely satisfied it’d encourage different males additionally stand with the ladies of their provinces,” she mentioned.

“I’ve a message for these Afghan males who sit at house and simply watch ladies on the streets,” Mosawi mentioned. “How lengthy will you stay silent in entrance of all these crimes and persecution towards ladies? If at present you select to stay silent, tomorrow it’s possible you’ll be confronted with the identical persecution.”

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