Fighters with the Taliban have allegedly shot and killed a woman for not wearing a burqa, despite offering assurances that they will govern the country in a manner that ensures the rights of women.
Following the stunning seizure of power by the Islamist group and rapid collapse of the government of President Ashraf Ghani this past weekend, the militants have promised that women would be able to fulfill roles in government ministries and media, while continuing their studies in universities.
In a Tuesday news conference in Kabul, the group’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that women’s rights would be ensured, albeit within the framework of their interpretation of Islamic or Sharia laws.
However, on that same day reports emerged that a woman had been killed for not wearng Burqa – the one-piece veil that covers both the body and the face of women.
Fox News published a photo of a woman in Takhar province lying in a pool of blood while surrounded by her loved ones after the fighters allegedly killed her.
The photo has not yet been independently verified.
Taliban officials have pledged that while women will be expected to wear hijab (headscarves), the burqa will not be a requirement.
Prior to the U.S. invasion that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the Taliban ruled through a strict “Islamic Emirate” based on a conservative variant of theocratic traditionalism heavily influenced by local traditions. Women and girls were prevented from leaving their homes without a male chaperone, and they were also unable to work or pursue an education.
On Wednesday, images also emerged of the Taliban violently subduing a protest and beating back civilians, including women, who were hoisting the red, black and green flag of the ousted national government of Afghanistan, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The new outbreak of defiance and repression underscores the distrust and deep skepticism of Afghans toward the Taliban, which could harden the Islamist group’s rule as it consolidates its grip over the war-torn country.
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