Women Cannot Leave Home Alone, Men Must Grow Beards: Taliban Rule in Captured Afghan Districts | World news
The Taliban enacted new laws and regulations in newly captured districts in Takhar province in northeastern Afghanistan, ordering women not to leave home alone and men to grow beards, among other diktats, according to reports. Ariana News quoted civil society activists in Takhar as saying the Taliban has also established dowry regulations for girls. “They urged women in a statement not to leave without a relative (Moharam) and also urged men to wear beards,” Merajuddin Sharifi, a civil society activist in Takhar, said as quoted by Ariana News. Sharifi also said that “the Taliban insist on trials without evidence.”
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The Taliban have in the past imposed a harsh version of the Islamic regime. In particular, they prohibited girls from going to school and women from working outside their homes and forbidding them to be in public without a male parent before being evicted after the invasion led by the United States in 2001. Those who broke these rules were often humiliated and beaten in public by the Taliban religious police.
The Taliban have stepped up their offensive against civilians and government defense and security forces, and have taken control of several districts of the country as foreign forces withdraw from the war-torn country. The group seized the Tagab district in Kapisa province on Thursday, Ariana News reported, citing people familiar with the developments.
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Residents of areas captured by the Taliban are also having to pay more for food as their numbers increase dramatically, members of the Takhar provincial council said, according to Ariana News. “People are facing problems there; services are non-existent, clinics and schools are closed, ”provincial council member Mohammad Azam Afzali told Ariana News.
Takhar Governor Abdullah Qarluq said government buildings were destroyed by the Taliban and services were cut off in areas controlled by the Taliban. “They (the Taliban) have looted everything and no service exists,” Qarluq said.
The Taliban, according to Ariana News, dismissed the allegations and called them propaganda against the group.
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In May, senior US intelligence analysts warned that the Taliban would “undo much” of progress made in Afghan women’s rights if Islamist extremists regained national power. “The Taliban remain broadly consistent in their restrictive approach to women’s rights and would set back much of the past two decades of progress if the group regained national power,” the US National Intelligence Council said.
The council’s Sense of the Community Memorandum also stated that women’s rights would likely be threatened after the withdrawal of the US-led military coalition. “Progress (in women’s rights) probably owes more to external pressure than internal support, which suggests that they would be threatened after the withdrawal of the coalition, even without the Taliban’s efforts to reverse the trend,” indicates the assessment, according to Reuters.
The situation in Afghanistan has been deteriorating for several weeks and the fighting has intensified since the beginning of May, when the US military began its final withdrawal of its troops. The Taliban claimed they had recently captured more than 100 of the more than 400 districts across Afghanistan.