Taliban's abuse of women and girls detailed in new report: "We can kill them"

Kabul, Afghanistan - The lives of women and girls in Afghanistan are being devastated by the Taliban’s savage crackdown on their rights, Amnesty International said in a new report published on Wednesday.

Burqa-clad women walk along a street in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Burqa-clad women walk along a street in Kandahar, Afghanistan.  © Javed TANVEER / AFP

Since returning to power, the Taliban have restricted women’s and girls’ rights to education, work, and free movement.

More than a hundred Afghan women and girls were interviewed for the report titled Death in Slow Motion, which reveals how the Taliban threatens, detains, tortures, and forcibly disappears those who dare to protest these restrictions.

"[The Taliban guards] kept coming to my room and showing me pictures of my family. They kept repeating ... 'We can kill them,'" one women narrated of her experience in a Taliban prison.

Another woman told Amnesty: "We were beaten on our breasts and between the legs. They did this to us so that we couldn’t show the world."

In the report, a young woman said she was detained arbitrarily and later tortured with "electric shocks" for appearing in public with a man who does not qualify as "mahram" – a male chaperone.

According to Amnesty research, the rates of child marriage are surging under Taliban rule. The key contributing factors to the trend are said to be war, poverty, drought, and denial of education.

Amnesty calls on the international community for support

The UK-based rights group calls on the international community to respond to these oppressions by imposing targeted sanctions such as travel bans on Taliban leaders to hold them accountable.

"The Taliban are deliberately depriving millions of women and girls of their human rights, and subjecting them to systematic discrimination," said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s secretary general.

"If the international community fails to act, it will be abandoning women and girls in Afghanistan, and undermining human rights everywhere."

Cover photo: Javed TANVEER / AFP

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