Taliban Crushes Women’s Rights Protest with Live Ammo and Tear Gas

Women trying to affirm rights granted under the former Afghan regime learned Saturday that despite talk from the Taliban about respecting their rights, the reality is laced with tear gas.
Roughly 100 women staged a protest in Kabul on Saturday that began with a wreath-laying at the Defense Ministry and ended with Taliban fighters firing guns in the air and launching tear gas at the protesters, according to The Associated Press.
Marcher Sudaba Kabiri, 24, told a Taliban official who was at the protest that women wanted the rights to which they are entitled and that Islam says women have rights.  She was told women would have their rights protected.
But later, she told ABC News that the Taliban used tear gas and stun guns to break up the march while firing guns in the air to frighten the protesters.
“They stood in front of our protest,” she said. “They did not allow us to continue our protest, because they want to eliminate the power of women. They don’t want to hear from the women.
“They [govern] as if this country just belongs to men. Women are nothing. It’s our country as well. Women are as educated [as men]. How can they remove us from this society? We are a part of this society. We protest to announce: ‘we are here.'”
“Today was the most dangerous day for us,” she continued. “The Taliban sprayed spice [tear gas] on us, they fired on us, they injured us.
“They will kill us, until then we will fight for our generation’s rights? The Taliban cannot remove, they cannot silence our voice. We are part of this society, this country belongs to us as well. Not only for men.”
Kabiri said the march was held to send a message that she said women will keep sending.
“We want to show them that in the past, when the Taliban were in Afghanistan 20 years ago, the women were silent. We are not like the past women. We do not have to stay silent, we do not have to keep ourselves silent,” she said.
The New York Times quoted a woman whose name was only given as Nargis as saying she needed five stitches to close a head wound suffered when she was hit by a metal object.
“They pushed everybody away and forced us to leave while chasing us with their spray, weapons and metal devices,” she said.
“The Taliban kept cursing, using abusive language.”

“We were surrounded by armed Taliban from all sides,” said another woman identified by the Times as Rukhshana.
“They asked us to leave and stop the protest,” she said. “Some of the Taliban beat us … They treated us like animals.”

“We were only launching a simple protest,” she said. “We wanted to ask for our rights through this rally and show that we exist. We have worked hard, we have studied and struggled, offered sacrifices, lost our husbands.”
She said the protests will not stop.
“We will continue our struggle until we get our rights back in this government. They took over our country by the force of their weapons.”
via westernjournal

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