KABUL: A group of Afghan journalists and activists held a rally in Kabul on Saturday but it turned violent after protesters sought to move towards the Presidential Palace.
The Taliban used tear gas against the protesters who were calling for their rights to be preserved under the new leadership in Afghanistan. Most of those who attended the rally in Kabul were women and were out on the city streets protesting for the second day. The women who marched toward the Presidential Palace from the Pul-e-Mahmoud Khan area east of the Palace were not allowed to get close and the Taliban special forces used tear gas against them.
“We were joined by a group of women to defend our rights and were moving towards the Palace,” said Suraya, a civil society activist, when the Taliban “attacked us,” fired tear gas and ‘beat’ a number of women.” “Twenty-five years ago, when the Taliban came to Kabul, they prevented me from going to school. I studied during the last 20 years after the fall of the Taliban and made efforts for a better future. I will not allow this achievement to be lost,” said Azita, a journalist.
The Taliban said they had no option but to use tear gas against the protesters after they went out of control. “The protesters were moving toward the Presidential Palace, the Foreign Ministry and the Sedarat Palace, which are all within the safe zone, and no one is allowed to enter those areas. The Taliban tried many times to prevent them but finally they had to stop the women from moving toward the Palace,” said Abdulhaq Imad, a media activist.
The protests were staged in Kabul and Herat after the Taliban said that women cannot work in high-ranking posts in the future government.