UN tells Taliban to ‘stop using weapons’ on peaceful protests

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has expressed concern over the Taliban’s suppression of women’s peaceful protests.

On Saturday, women held two rallies in Kabul to protest systematic violence against the Hazaras while demanding that the perpetrators be brought to justice. The Taliban violently attacked both demonstrations.

On Twitter, UNAMA expressed concern about the violence against the protesters by posting pictures of a demonstration that was staged in response to the brutal attack on Kaaj educational centre on Friday, when at least 35 were killed and more than 80 students wounded, according to the latest UNAMA figure. 

In its tweet, UNAMA asked the Taliban “to safeguard rights of all Afghans and stop using weapons to prevent the right of peaceful protest.”

The Taliban regularly attack peaceful protests. In addition, they also try to stop journalists from reporting on those demonstrations with violence, including Saturday’s protests. Reporter Fatima Hossaini tells Zan Times, “I was preparing a report and video of the protesters when two Taliban gunmen snatched my mobile phone by force and beat me.”

In January, Human Rights Watch documented the Taliban’s use of harsh tactics to crush Afghan women’s protests. “The Taliban have rolled back the rights of women and girls, including blocking access to education and employment for many. Women’s rights activists have staged a series of protests; the Taliban has responded by banning unauthorized protests,” stated Human Rights Watch.