Women’s protest against the targeted killing of Hazaras is violently suppressed by Taliban

The Taliban violently attacked a group of women who were protesting yesterday’s suicide attack on the Kaaj educational centre and the targeted killing of Hazaras.  

At the centre in western Kabul, at least 35 people were killed, and more than 80 students were injured by gunmen who used guns and a suicide bomb in their attack on students and staff. IS-K, the ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan, is believed to be behind the deadly attack.  

Saturday’s peaceful demonstration started at 10:30 a.m. from Kabul’s Pol-Sokhta neighbourhood and was going to end at a hospital where many of the attack’s victims were treated. 

“Initially, we were 30 protesters, but after a while, there were a lot of women and girls joining us, which we couldn’t count. From the Pol-Sokhta, we marched to Ali Jinnah Hospital, where most of the injured from yesterday’s incident were brought,” a protester, named Farzana Hamid, told Zan Times.  

The march was almost finished when the Taliban gunmen shot in the air to disperse the demonstration. “At Ali Jinnah hospital, the Taliban surrounded us and opened fire as we chanted slogans for justice,” Hamid says. “Over 100 Taliban gunmen surrounded us with their Rangers [pick-ups], and some of them took photos and videos of the protesting girls to identify them.” Though the Taliban videoed the marchers, they stopped attempts by the protesters to make their own recordings. “When the protesters tried to make videos of the demonstration, they brutally beat them. Some were nearly shot by the Taliban gunmen,” she says.   

Two women demonstrators were able to explain what occurred after escaping the scene. In a video, they recounted how the Taliban brutally beat their fellow protesters. “We were met with brutal behavior. One of the young women was sent to a hospital because of Taliban violence,” says Zhulia Parsi. 

“I was with another woman. She was taken away by the Taliban, we do not know where. I am on the run, but they are chasing me. It’s my last message to you. Maybe I’ll be arrested or killed after this moment,” one of the demonstrators told Zan Times, withholding her name.  

Video footage shared on social media shows the Taliban violence tearing posters and preventing them from continuing their protests.