On May 7, the Taliban ordered all Afghan women to wear the full-coverage burqa in public places. Since the decree was put in place, the difference in Afghanistan’s streets is visible. Or rather it’s invisible: women have all but deserted public streets to remain cloistered in their homes. Although our Observer dared to leave home to protest with other women’s rights activists on May 10, she has no illusions about the future that awaits her. “Those women who are not too old or young must cover their face, except the eyes, as per sharia directives, in order to avoid provocation when meeting men who are not mahram (adult close male relatives),” says the decree, which came into force on May 7, announced by Taliban leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada. The images of daily life in Kabul, Herat or Mazar-e Sharif on social media show that the order has been followed: women seem to be absent from the streets, markets and parks. Akhundzada specified the consequences for breaking this decree on May 6: “First, the woman wearing immoral …
It only took 80 seconds for two men to rain down 40 lashes on the woman huddled on her knees as a large crowd looked on. The video of the brutal sentence carried out on an Afghan woman was filmed near Herat and posted on Facebook on April 13. It is a painful reminder of the continued operation of Taliban “courts”, even though they have been banned. For our Observer, it also symbolises the failure of the Afghan government. According to our Observers, this footage is from late 2020, though it hasn’t been possible to determine the precise date the incident occurred. This date range was confirmed by the governor of Herat on April 15. The video was first posted online on April 13, sparking widespread shock and outrage. The incident took place in Haftgola located near Herat in the Obe district. A man with a white beard leads the woman, who is covered by a burqa, into the center of a circle formed by local men who are there to witness the punishment being …
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