- Taliban fighters tore the banners that the women demonstrators displayed and confiscated mobile phones of many protesters. Some journalists – covering the stir – were also reportedly beaten by the fighters.
Two days before the Taliban marks the first anniversary of Afghanistan takeover, fighters of the hardline group beat women protesters and fired in the air on Saturday as they dispersed a rally in the capital city of Kabul. Nearly 40 women marched and gathered outside the education ministry building chanting “bread, work and freedom” before Taliban fighters broke them up by firing in the air, news agency AFP reported. Some women protesters who took shelter in nearby shops were chased and thrashed by the fighters with their rifle butts.
Some journalists covering the stir – the first women’s rally in several months – were also reportedly beaten by the fighters.
The women protesters carried a banner that read – ‘August 15 is a black day’ – as they demanded rights to work and political participation. Zholia Parsi, one of the organisers of the demonstration, told AFP that Taliban fighters tore their banners and also confiscated mobile phones of many women. The demonstrators chanted: “Justice…we’re fed up with ignorance”, with many not wearing face veils.
Despite promising a softer version of their rigid rule during the 1990s, Taliban have imposed several restrictions, especially on women’s rights, ever since it came to power last year on August 15. Thousands of young girls have been out of secondary schools as they continue to remain shut, while many women have been prohibited from returning to several government jobs.
Taliban have also banned women from travelling alone on long trips and allowed them to only visit parks and public gardens in Kabul on days different from men.
Furthermore, in May, Afghanistan’s supreme leader and Taliban chief Hibatullah Akhundzada ordered women to completely cover themselves in public, including their faces.
The United Nations and other rights groups have consistently lashed out at the regime for imposing curbs on women. In May, UN special rapporteur on human rights in Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, told reporters in Kabul that the policies of the Islamist group show a “pattern of absolute gender segregation and are aimed at making women invisible in the society”.
Not just women, Afghanistan has been drowning in poverty ever since the Taliban took control. The situation has escalated to new levels triggered by drought, and inflation since Russia’s offensive in its former Soviet neighbour Ukraine.
Salman Rushdie has been taken off the ventilator and is able to talk, said his book agent Andrew Wylie, a day after The Satanic Verses author was stabbed at an event in New York. Rushdie remained hospitalized with serious injuries, but fellow author Aatish Taseer had tweeted late evening that he was “off the ventilator and talking (and joking).” Rushdie’s agent confirmed the information to Associated Press without giving further details.
US President Joe Biden expressed shock over the “vicious attack” on Salman Rushdie and said that he pray for his health and recovery. White House termed the attack on Salman Rushdie as “appalling” and said that the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris Administration is praying for a speedy recovery of the renowned author. Hadi Matar, who is suspected of stabbing an Indian-born-British author in western New York State on Friday morning during a lecture was arraigned in centralized arraignment on Saturday and was remanded without bail at Chautauqua County Jail. A suspect has been taken into custody.
A 24-year old New Jersey man charged with attempted murder and assault for attacking author Salman Rushdie has pleaded not guilty. Hadi Matar of Fairview, New Jersey was arraigned in centralised arraignment on Saturday and was remanded without bail at Chautauqua County Jail. Authorities with New York State Police told PTI that Matar pleaded not guilty and was held in the Chautauqua County Jail.
Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old New Jersey man who stabbed Mumbai-born author Salman Rushdie in New York on Friday, has been charged with ‘attempted murder and assault in the second degree’, the Chautauqua Country district attorney’s office said on Saturday. Matar was born and raised in the US, the head of the local municipality, Ali Qassem Tahfa, told news agency AFP. Rushdie remained hospitalised in serious condition.
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