Taliban crashed a wedding to punish those playing music

A wedding is a joyful occasion of celebration, where people dance and sing. However, in Afghanistan, the Taliban authorities consider these activities as crimes. Earlier this week, the people of Badakhshan province were shocked when the Taliban crashed a marriage event and arrested 12 young people for playing music.

Unfortunately, the cruelty did not stop there. The Taliban forces publicly shaved the heads of the arrested youths, causing humiliation and pain in front of their community. After holding in custody for four days, the Taliban eventually released the young people on bail.

This is not the first time that such inhumanity has been carried out by the Taliban forces. Disturbingly, this incident marks the second time in just a month that innocent civilians in Badakhshan faced violence.

The brutal actions of the Taliban authorities continue to shock the people of Afghanistan and the world. Local sources in Badakhshan have reported yet another troubling incident. Taliban forces, accompanied by their notorious vice and virtue officials, raided a wedding ceremony in Targani village, Argo district, Badakhshan province. Their target? Twelve young individuals.

UNAMA Report

The latest report by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) revealed on Monday that the Taliban-led government in economically distressed Afghanistan has forced many women to resign from their jobs. This is supposedly due to their non-compliance with recently imposed Islamic law mandates that affect women nationwide.

Covering the final quarter of 2023, the report highlights the continuous restrictions on women’s rights to work, education, and freedom of movement imposed by the de facto authorities. The Taliban’s Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has played an active role in enforcing these restrictions. They have obstructed unmarried women or those without a male guardian from working or accessing essential services.

Women lose jobs

The report provides details of approximately 600 women who lost their jobs across two provinces during the documented period. It was due to non-compliance with the hijab or dress code, the absence of a mahram or male relative, and other restrictions on women visiting public places, offices, and educational institutions. In October, the Ministry’s provincial chapter banned 400 women from working at a pine-nut processing plant in Nangarhar province. They did not provide reasons, while men remained unaffected.

Additionally, the report highlights the dismissal of 200 women from a Taliban-run power plant in Balkh province in November. This was allegedly due to financial reasons, with no similar action taken against male employees. There were also instances where unmarried female staff at healthcare facilities were advised to marry or face the risk of losing their jobs. It was deemed inappropriate for unmarried women to be employed.

In the past month, Ministry officials visited a bus terminal in Kandahar city, ensuring that women did not travel long distances without a male relative. They instructed drivers not to allow unaccompanied female passengers to board buses, according to UNAMA’s findings.

The report emphasizes that there is no outright ban on women’s employment in Afghanistan. However, the requirement of a mahram effectively limits their right to work. Furthermore, the document records arbitrary arrests, detentions, sentencing, and releases of human rights defenders and journalists, including women, between October and December.

Restrictions reported

UNAMA highlights that the Taliban authorities continue to restrict freedom of expression, limiting the public’s access to information. The report also documents a rise in suicide bombings and attacks on the Shiite Hazara community over the past three months, mainly attributed to Islamic State militants, resulting in numerous casualties.

The international community has condemned the Taliban-imposed restrictions on women several times. The de facto Afghan government remains unrecognized by foreign countries. This is primarily due to concerns about human rights and the treatment of women. In response to the UNAMA report, the Taliban spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid, dismissed it. He stated that criticizing Islamic rules is an affront to people’s beliefs. He urged the UN body to refrain from commenting on religious matters. Mujahid emphasized that the commitments and responsibilities of an Islamic government include women’s hijab, the requirement of a Sharia mahram, and creating a Sharia-compliant environment for women’s work and education.