The Taliban Kills Pregnant Police Officer, Afghan Women’s Rights in Tatters

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Many rights of Afghan women are being significantly curtailed by the Taliban.
Many rights of Afghan women are being significantly curtailed by the Taliban.(Image: 12019 via Pixabay)

Taliban militants have reportedly killed a female policewoman in the capital city of Afghanistan’s Ghor province. The woman, Banu Negar, was shot dead in front of her relatives at her family’s home. 

Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujaheed dismissed the claim that the militant group had anything to do with Negar’s death. 

“We are aware of the incident and I am confirming that the Taliban have not killed her, our investigation is ongoing,” Mujaheed said. He added that the Taliban has already announced an amnesty for people who worked with the previous administration and blamed the death on “personal enmity or something else.”

According to the BBC, details of the incident are sparse since people are not willing to speak about the issue due to fear of retaliation. Anonymous sources reported to the media outlet that Taliban militants beat up and shot Negar in front of her husband and kids. Militants searched the house and tied up the family members. Images secured by the BBC showed blood splattered on a wall and a heavily disfigured body. Negar was eight months pregnant.

CNN obtained a video in which Negar’s son Hanif gave an account of the crime. 

“They killed our mother before our eyes. They killed her with a knife,” Hanif said. He added that if the killers were not brought to justice “we might have to take the law into our own hands.” Since his mother was pregnant, Hanif said the killers had committed two murders.

Negar’s death comes as the Taliban’s ascension to power has put women’s rights in Afghanistan at severe risk. According to Samira Hamidi, a campaigner at Amnesty International, Taliban authorities have asked women to remain at home as they believe their militants are not “trained enough to respect them.”

Female activists are now living in fear for their safety. “Women have disappeared from political, social & economic spaces…Women led NGOs are searched, questioned & have been asked to remain shut… Prominent women activists [are] threatened through calls/msgs/social media,” Hamidi tweeted

Women working at banks, media outlets, and other offices have been asked to return home. The Taliban has imposed gender-segregated studies in schools and universities.

The United Nations recently warned that the Taliban takeover has created “incredible fear” among Afghan women. Alison Davidian, a senior UN official, stated that there are daily reports of the Taliban imposing restrictions on Afghan women. The new regime is reminiscent of the Taliban rule of the 1990s when females were forbidden from getting an education or working.

A Taliban official, Ahmadullah Wasiq, has said that women will be banned from all sports. He insists that women should not be allowed to play cricket as there might be situations where their faces and bodies are not covered. 

“It is the media era, and there will be photos and videos, and then people watch it. Islam and the Islamic Emirate [Afghanistan] do not allow women to play cricket or play the kind of sports where they get exposed,” Wasiq said.

The newly formed Taliban government is composed solely of men. It triggered protests from some groups of women. However, authorities quelled the protests using violence. The regime has issued a decree banning demonstrations that do not have official approval.

In an interview with TOLO News, a Taliban spokesperson justified the exclusion of women from the government. “A woman can’t be a minister, it is like you put something on her neck that she can’t carry. It is not necessary for a woman to be in the cabinet, they should give birth & women protesters can’t represent all women in Afghanistan,” the spokesperson said.

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