Changes in Afghanistan
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Taliban freedom fighters take a closer look at Kabul and other cities in Afghanistan on Thursday after the new government banned illegal protests over several days of protests by Afghan women and protesters.
The Interior Ministry announced late Wednesday that protesters will need to obtain permission from the government to hold demonstrations and must share plans even with the authorities within 24 hours. “The protesters will be severely prosecuted,” he said.
This was one of the first acts of Afghanistan the new Taliban government when it established its rule in the country following the departure of the US last month.
This angered opponents who claimed that the Taliban were taking away their rights and restoring oppressive practices. There was hope that Muslims would outnumber those who had fled Afghanistan in the 1990s.
The Taliban on Tuesday unveiled a new prime minister brave and thoughtful, including members facing UN sanctions or a list wanted by the FBI, ignoring the western response to various governments that include women and non-Taliban leaders.
Afghanistan has been hit by protests across the country this week, with many being led by women who want independence and representation in the men’s government. Several women who protested were beaten by Taliban militants, according to the BBC.
The Taliban had earlier demanded that women’s rights be respected in accordance with Islamic law. But the UN and others have warned that Taliban leaders in some areas are banning them from working and education, as they did nationwide during the 1990’s.
Taliban militants received an order to control Afghanistan’s cities on Thursday to avoid further protests. Several shots were fired at Kabul.
They were keenly on the move with their followers Ahmad Shah Massoud, a powerful anti-Taliban fighter whose assassination 20 years ago to this day is often marked by rallies.
The Taliban also opposed a series of protests this week, shooting protesters in Herat district. At least two people have been killed, according to AFP. Demonstrations in Parwan also turned violent.
Several journalists covering the protests of Afghan women in Kabul on Wednesday were arrested and beaten by Taliban militants before their release, according to their accounts and media photos.
Australian news correspondent SBS on Wednesday said the new government banned women’s sports, quoting a Taliban spokesman who said the group does not allow women to play cricket or any other sport “where it can be disclosed”.
The Taliban have not issued a statement on the matter, however.
Foreign leaders and ambassadors also said the Taliban could be reduced in size at a time, which would help re-establish aid and security ties. But these hopes are dashed.
Antony Blinken, Secretary of State of the US, on Wednesday said an international group he was “concerned” with the new Taliban prime minister.
The Interior Ministry, which has banned protests, is now led by Sirajuddin Haqqani, a senior member of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network with former al-Qaeda ties. The US has chosen to become a terrorist group and Sirajuddin Haqqani is on the FBI’s most sought-after list of $ 10m.
Additional Fazelminallah Qazizai reports in Kabul