When one hurts or kills a women
Note from Gino d'Artali: before continuing and to the situation as is now I need to share this with you:
UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS
Office of the high commisioner
10 Oct 2022
<< <We are erased.>
<We are erased,> said Mahbooba Seraj, a human rights activist from Afghanistan. <Today the human rights in Afghanistan does not exist. Women of Afghanistan do not exist for the Taliban.> Seraj is an Afghan women's rights activist based in Afghanistan. She chose to stay in the country after the Taliban takeover to be a witness of what was going to be happening and be able to tell the world about it, she said. Seraj was one of the speakers during a discussion on the plight of women and girls in Afghanistan during the Human Rights Council. Since the Taliban took power in August 2021, the human rights situation of women and girls in Afghanistan has dete-riorated. The Taliban have <deprived women and girls of their human rights, removed women from spheres of public life, and undone wo-men's agency> said Ilze Brands Kehris, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights. <Women have nowhere to go to seek justice and redress in today's Afghanistan,> she said. In July 2022, the Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on the situation of human rights of women and girls in Afghanistan, in which OHCHR was requested to organize an enhanced interactive dialogue in its upcoming session to shed light on the situation of human rights of women and girls in Afghanistan. The discussion took place following an interactive dialogue with the SR on Afghanistan where he presented his first update and report on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan. Nowhere else in the world has there been as widespread and all-encompassing a rollback, stated Richard Bennet, Special Rapporteur on Afghanistan. <Edicts have been imposed that not only restrict women and girls’ daily lives; they rob them of their futures and strip them of their identity and dignity,> said Bennet. In his report, Bennet states that within the last 13 months, there has been a <staggering regression in women and girls' enjoyment of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.>. Several edicts and decrees have been put into effect that have limited women's and girls' rights, including suspension of secondary education for girls, enforcing mandatory hijab wearing in public, and banning women from traveling without being accompanied by a close male family member (mahram).>>
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Womens News Agency
17 Nov 2022
<<UNAMA: The rights of women activists must be respected.
The Taliban continue to arrest Afghan women activists for participating in protests.
News Center- The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a tweet on Wednesday that the rights of Zarifa Yaqoubi and other activists must be respected by the Taliban.
Zarifa Yaqoubi and four other activists were arrested on November 3 during the press briefing in Kabul. After their arrest, many human rights organizations called for the release of the activists. The UNAMA also called for their immediate release. Yesterday, the UNAMA said in a tweet that the rights of Zarifa Yaqoubi and other four activists must be respected by the Taliban. <The rights of @YaghubiZarifa & other activists must be respected. Reasons for their continued detention should be made public. UNAMA is seeking access to the detained & clarity on the whereabouts of others. All detainees should be allowed contact with their families & legal counsel,> the tweet read.>>
13 Nov 2022
Text by News Wires
<<Taliban bans Afghan women from gyms, public baths.
Gyms and public baths are now also off limits to Afghan women, the Taliban confirmed Sunday, days after banning them from parks and funfairs. Women are increasingly being squeezed out of public life since the Taliban's return last year despite the hardline Islamists promising a softer version of the harsh rule that characterised their first stint in power that ended in 2001. Most female government workers have lost their jobs - or are being paid a pittance to stay at home - while women are also barred from travelling without a male relative, and must cover up with a burqa or hijab when out of the home. Schools for teenage girls have also been shuttered across most of the country since the Taliban's August 2021 return. <Gyms are closed for women because their trainers were male and some of them were combined gyms,> Mohammad Akif Sadeq Mohajir, spokes-man for the Ministry for the Prevention of Vice and Promotion of Virtue, told AFP. He said <hammams> - traditional public bathing houses that have always been segregated by sex - were now also off limits. <Currently, every house has a bathroom in it, so it won't be any issue for the women,> he said. One video clip circulating on social media - which could not immediately be verified - showed a group of women, backs to the camera, lamenting the gym ban. <It's a women-only gym - the teachers and trainers are all women,> a voice says, breaking with emotion. <You can't just ban us from everything. Do we not have the right to anything at all?> Activists have said the increasing restrictions on women are an attempt to stop them from gathering to organise opposition to the Taliban's rule. Small groups of women have staged frequent flash protests in Kabul and other major cities, risking the wrath of Taliban officials who have beaten and detained them. >>
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10 Nov 2022
Agence France-Press in Kabul
<<Taliban ban women from parks and funfairs in Afghan capital.
The Taliban have banned Afghan women from entering the capital's public parks and funfairs, just months after ordering access to be segregated by gender. The new rule, introduced this week, further squeezes women out of an ever-shrinking public space. They are already banned from travelling without a male escort and forced to wear a hijab or burqa whenever out of the home. Secondary schools for girls have also been shut for over a year across most of the country. <For the past 15 months, we tried our best to arrange and sort it out - and even specified the days,> said Mohammad Akif Sadeq Mohajir, spokesperson for the Ministry for the Prevention of Vice and Promotion of Virtue. <But still, in some places - in fact, we must say in many places - the rules were violated,> he told AFP.
<There was mixing [of men and women], hijab was not observed, that's why the decision has been taken for now.> The news was met with dismay by women and park operators - who have invested heavily in developing the facilities. <There are no schools, no work … we should at least have a place to have fun,> said one ewoman, who asked to be identified only as Wahida, as she watched her children play in a park through the window of an adjoining restaurant. <We are just bored and fed-up with being at home all day, our minds are tired,> she told AFP. At the next table, Raihana, 21, who is studying Islamic law at university, shared her disappoin-tment after arriving at the park to spend the day with her sisters. <We were very excited … we are tired of staying at home,> she said. <Obviously, in Islam, it is allowed to go out and visit parks. When you have no freedom in your own country, then what does it mean to live here?> A few miles away, the ferris wheel and most of the other rides in Zazai Park, which offers a spectacular view of Kabul, have ground to a sudden halt because of a lack of business.
Before this week's ban, it could accommodate hundreds of visitors on days when women brought their children for family gatherings. On Fridays and public holidays, even more people would flock to the park - one of the few attractions in the city. On Wednesday, only a handful of men wandered nonchalantly through the complex.
Habib Jan Zazai, co-developer of the complex, fears he may have to close down a business into which he has poured $11m, and which employs more than 250 people. <Without women, the children will not come alone,> he said. He feared such edicts would discourage investment by foreigners or Afghans living abroad, as well as effect revenue collection. <A government is run by taxes. If an investor is not paying tax, then how can they run?> >>
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Opinion by Gino d'Artali: Before the taiban realises what will hit them a Zan, zendagi, azadi!> (Women, life, freedom) tsunami will flow all over the country!
Womens News Agency
3 Nov 2022
<<Crimes against journalists rise in Afghanistan.
News Center-The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has released a report stating that crimes against journalists are rising in Afghanistan. The report also stated that the UNAMA has recorded the human rights abuse of more than 200 journalists in the country since August 2021. Journalists in the country have been victims of arbitrary arrest, ill-treatment, threats and intimidation and face restrictions in accessing vital information.
<The media in Afghanistan is in peril>
On Wednesday, the UNAMA tweeted, <Record high numbers include arbitrary arrest, ill-treatment, threats and intimidation. Media in Afghanistan is in peril. Let us all help #ProtectJournalists #EndImpunity.>
The crackdown against journalists
Journalists in Afghanistan face restrictions while covering security events along with access to information. The Taliban have been revoking the efforts on gender equality and freedom of speech in the country and the crime rates in the country have been rising ever since the takeover. Women journalists have disappeared completely from the media landscape in 11 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, Badghis, Helmand, Daikundi, Ghazni, Wardak, Nimroz, Nuristan, Paktika, Paktia, Samangan, and Zabol. Of the 2,756 women journalists and media workers employed in Afghanistan prior to 15 August 2021, only 656 are still working.>>
3 Nov 2022
Global development is supported by
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
By Isabel Choat
'No darkness is for ever': can an activist in exile persuade the Taliban to allow teaching on TV?
Jamila Afghani was settling into her new home in Kitchener, Ontario, when she found out that the Taliban had raided her office back in Afghanistan. Uniformed officers had barged into a counselling service for women in Kabul, accused the staff of running <a ministry of women> and taken one of the employees away for questioning.
Afghani had chosen the premises in the capital in part because of its proximity to the Ministry of Women's Affairs, where she had good contacts who supported her work championing the rights of women and girls. When the Taliban replaced the women's ministry with the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, Afghani's organisation found itself working under the nose of the morality police. Last month's incident was a chilling reminder of the daily humiliations women face as the Taliban obliterates them from public life. A few weeks after the raid, Afghani was awarded the Aurora humanitarian prize at a ceremony in Venice in recognition of her 25-plus years educating girls and as founder of the Noor Educational and Capacity Development Organization (Necdo). Her acceptance speech, via video from Canada, was tearful: <My country, my people, are passing through the darkest days of history. Today children are not allowed to go to school; my sisters are not allowed to go to their job because they are women … sometimes we believe there is no humanity in this world any more.> Afghani has reopened the Necdo office, but is hypervigilant, an eye always on the office CCTV, and checking on colleagues - all from thousands of miles away. She feels guilty she can't be there in person. <Every day I'm working until 4am. I try my best to say, 'I'm with you.'>
Afghani, who was left disabled after contracting polio as a child, fled Afghanistan with her husband and three children 11 days after the Taliban took control of Kabul on 15 August 2021. Despite holding visas for multiple countries, the family couldn't get on a flight out. <Kabul airport has four entrances; we tried all of them on different days, but it was so crowded, it was too dangerous. One day my daughter almost suffocated in the crush, we could not get water for her.> Eventually the Norwegian ambassador to Afghanistan, Ole Andreas Lindeman, arranged her escape to Norway. They were relieved to be in a safe place but the climate made it difficult for Afghani, who uses crutches, to get out, and the language proved challenging. <I was very isolated, I was stuck in the house for months of the year while it snowed,> she says. A year later they relocated to Canada. Afghani's children hope they can settle now, but she is determined to return to Afghanistan as soon as possible. <Even when my children say, 'No, we are fed up with moving around', I say, 'You stay with your father, I will go back'. I have no other choice: as long as I'm alive I have to struggle.>
She set up a centre in Kabul to help schoolchildren catch up, then a second in Ghazni, angering a local imam who disparaged her as a bad Muslim. <I was really worried [about challenging him],> she says. <Friends suggested not to do it, but the knowledge I have from studying Islamic law gave me strength to debate. He realised it was difficult for him to turn the conversation and he changed his mind. It was really empowering and a turning point in my life.>
Inspired by the exchange, she established a project to persuade religious leaders that women's rights are within the teachings of Islam which reached 6,000 imams in 22 provinces. By 2021 she had opened dozens of literacy centres and more than 100,000 girls were enrolled. <We had at least 10 centres in each province, and about 2,000 teachers in our membership,> says Afghani. Necdo also provided support to victims of domestic violence, and having to close the centres was crushing for thousands of women in its network.
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