UN Demands Taliban To Release Afghan Women Activists

The UN human rights office on Tuesday called on the Taliban to release four women activists and their relatives in Afghanistan who disappeared after protesting for the rights to education and work in the Afghan capital Kabul.

A spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights OHCHR, Liz Throssell said that these four women’s activities disappeared nearly three weeks ago and still there is no news about their whereabouts and well-being.

Throssell said these women were detained or abducted in Kabul in connection with the recent women’s rights protests, calling on the Taliban regime to release them.

“In addition to Parwana Ibrahim Khil and Tamana Paryani, who were abducted with their relatives on 19 January, two more women in Kabul, who also reportedly took part in a 16 January protest on women’s rights, were forcibly taken last week,” Throssell added.

According to Throssell, another two women, Mursal Ayar, were taken from her house on 2 February, and Dr. Zahra Mohammadi was abducted outside her medical clinic on 3 February.

“We are gravely concerned for the safety of the disappeared women and their family members. We continue to press the de-facto authorities for information on these cases, and for an effective, transparent investigation,” Throssell added.

Throssell stressed the need to ensure their physical and mental integrity and called for their immediate release.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Secretary-General for Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons met with the Taliban’s Deputy PM, Abdul Kabir, and expressed concern about the safety of these women.

Lyons said she conveyed deepening concern about disappeared women’s activities and waiting for the Taliban leadership’s answer on the matter.

Moreover, the EU’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Tomas Niklasson said that the detention and disappearance of citizens contradict the Taliban’s commitments to protecting human rights.

The Afghan women have frequently staged protests in Kabul, opposing the Taliban’s compulsory wearing of Hijab and other restrictions against women.

The Taliban had taken over Afghanistan in August as foreign troops withdrew and since then the Afghan women fighting for their rights for education and work.

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