By: Rukhshana Media
The Taliban dispersed around two dozen women protesters who were marching in the streets of Kabul this morning to mark the first anniversary of the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban.
The protesters chanted, “bread, work and freedom,” and “we want our rights” outside the Taliban’s Education Ministry.
A protester, who asked to remain anonymous, said the Taliban forces disrupted the protest by firing warning shots into the air.
“The Taliban forces were very violent,” she said, “They beat women with rifle butts.”
“They cursed us and called us prostitutes,” she added.
She continued the Taliban fighters threatened the protesters to “shoot you with bullets in your heads.”
Videos of the protest shared on social media shows women walking in the streets, chanting “justice.”
“Educated women play an active role in development and progress of a society,” reads a sign held by one protester.
The protesters were forced to flee only ten minutes after they gathered, and it wasn’t clear if the Taliban detained any of them.
A Rukhshana Media reporter, who covered the protest, said she witnessed today’s shootings, and that she and other journalists were not allowed to cover the protest.
In a phone interview after the protest ended, Nilab Shahab, one of the protesters, said she hid in a shop, along with some journalists, after the protesters were dispersed, but the Taliban found her.
“Why you prostitutes hide?,” she recalled a Taliban fighter telling her. “They assaulted me with a gun butt on my arm, and I fell on the ground and wounded my forehead.”
The Taliban have violently crushed female protests in the past year. They have detained and assaulted many protesters since they came to power.
“The Taliban are afraid of criticism, they are afraid of women’s voices and the girls’ education,” Shahab added.