A woman has been arrested after organising a press conference to announce the foundation of a women’s rights movement in Afghanistan.
Taliban intelligence a have arrested Zarifa Yaqoubi and her male colleagues when they turned up for the press conference to announce the formation of the “Afghan Women’s Movement for Equality” in Dasht Barchi in Kabul.
Amnesty International said: “According to reports, around 60 Taliban agents stormed the venue of the press conference to disrupt the event and deleted the photos and videos from the mobile phones of all the participants in the event.”
Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesperson of the Taliban, in a press conference in Kabul regarding the arrest of female protesters, said that “arbitrary protests” are not allowed and added that those arrested were taking orders from foreign agents to cause disruption in the country.”
They said the protesters were only acting so that they could get the chance to leave the country, but Fawzia Kofi, a former member of the peace negotiating team with the Taliban, claimed that the arrested woman “was included in the list of those planning to leave Afghanistan last year, and had also been granted a visa for one of the countries” but she had decided to stay and continued to work in Afghanistan.
She was just one of several people arrested in a wave of seizures including human rights activists Hamira Yusuf, Parveen Sadat and Farhat Popalz.
The Taliban has increased the range of restrictions on women and seems to have started a new round of arresting protesting women with the arrest of Zarifa Yaqoubi.
Meanwhile, protesting Afghan women launched a new campaign by writing “100 letters” to the UN Security Council and asked the international community not to recognize the Taliban government due to the oppression of women.
The requests of the international community and the lawsuits of the activists have not had a visible effect on reducing the strictness of the Taliban so far.