UPDATED 9:37 AM PT – Sunday, September 5, 2021
The Taliban violently broke up a women’s rights protest in Kabul. On Saturday, the group used tear gas, rifle butts and metal clubs to break up an all women protest, which marked the second demonstration in two days.
Attendees reported being beaten by Taliban fighters using sharp metal devices. They added shots were fired into the air to restrain the protest.
The women demanded rights to go to school, work and to participate in government. Demonstrators however described the backlash to be bloody.
“Together with a group of our colleagues, we wanted to go near a former government office for a protest, but before we got there the Taliban hit women with electric tasers, and they used tear gas against women,” Soraya, a former government employee and attendee of the protest said. “There was no one to ask why.”
The Taliban has claimed they would not prevent women from participating in government activities. However, many Afghans remain skeptical those promises will be kept. Farhat Popalzai, 24, told the Associated Press she demonstrated for the women who may be too afraid to protest.
“I am the voice of the women who are unable to speak,” said Popalzai. “They think this is a man’s country, but it is not, it is a woman’s country too.”