A women’s rights protest in Afghanistan comes to an abrupt end.
According to a report from the Associated Press, on Saturday (Sept. 4), Taliban special forces shot their guns at the sky as women in the streets of Kabul marched for equal rights, bringing a sudden end to the protest.
The demonstration reportedly began peacefully, with protesters congregating outside the Afghanistan’s Defense Ministry, where they left a wreath to memorialize fallen Afghan soldiers. The Taliban took over the majority of Afghanistan last month, and Afghan soldiers died fighting the organization.
After laying the wreath down outside of the ministry, the women began their march to the president’s palace. After a while, Taliban officials walked into the crowd as the shouts grew louder. A protester told one of the officials that women wanted their rights, and the official said they would get them.
Soon, though, 12 members of the Taliban’s special forces arrived on the scene and fired their weapons. Sudaba Kabiri, a 24-year-old protester at the scene, said tear gas was also used.
With the U.S.’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, many have expressed concern that any progress made in the women’s rights movement, as well as other things the Taliban have traditionally opposed, would be brought to a halt if not erased. The AP reports that members of the Taliban painted over murals about the dangers of H.I.V., and a Taliban Commission spokesman said the murals were painted over because “they are against our values.”
While the most recent women’s rights protest in Kabul was brought to an end, more will arise as long as people are willing to stand their ground. “We are here to gain human rights in Afghanistan,” said Maryam Naiby, a 20-year-old protester. “I love my country. I will always be here.”