Taliban detained 29 women and their families in Kabul, says US envoy | Afghanistan

The Taliban have detained 29 women and their families in Kabul, a senior US diplomat said on Saturday, adding to concerns about the growing number of people arrested and held indefinitely in Afghanistan.

Rina Amiri, U.S. special envoy for Afghan women, girls, and human rights, said women were among the 40 people arrested on Friday. “These unjust detentions must end,” she said in a tweet.

It has since been deleted, but other sources confirmed that several women had been detained in Kabul. The State Department did not respond to requests for comment on why it was removed.

Earlier on Friday, the Taliban released a group of journalists, including two foreigners, after news of their detention sparked international outcry. They also freed an activist who disappeared after a protest for women’s rights, amid mounting diplomatic pressure, including from the UN secretary-general.

“I am increasingly concerned about the well-being of missing female activists in Afghanistan. Several have “disappeared”, some have not been heard from for weeks,” António Guterres said on Twitter on Thursday. “I strongly urge the Taliban to ensure their safety so that they can return home.

But other activists, some of whom were abducted from their homes in the middle of the night, have not been released. The Taliban Police and the Ministry of Interior denied any role in their arrests.

Rights groups have denounced the disappearances as a campaign of intimidation, after the Taliban introduced oppressive rules, including banning girls from secondary education and women from working outside the labor sectors. health and education.

“Each disappearance highlights one of the huge shortcomings of Afghanistan today, the lack of rule of law,” said Heather Barr, associate director of women’s rights at Human Rights Watch.

“That’s not how you act when you’re trying to be a government, and it highlights the callousness with which they seem to think they can just abduct women and carelessly deny it.”

There are also concerns about Alia Azizi, a senior prison official who was missing for more than four months after reporting for work. Several women who worked for the security forces under the previous government have been attacked and killed since the Taliban came to power.

“While we welcome Parwana’s release, these families and others, including Alia, are still being held,” Amiri tweeted.

None of those detained have been charged with a crime or have been able to contact a lawyer or speak to family.

The British government has also raised concerns about citizens who have been detained for several months. The family of cameraman-turned-businessman Peter Jouvenal have made public their concerns about his health since his arrest in December.

He is married to an Afghan citizen and was in Kabul to work and settle family matters. Friends worry about his health and safety; he needs medication for high blood pressure and Covid is rampant in the Afghan prison system.

Comments are closed.