Taliban says they will not pursue their enemies and women, but eyewitnesses say otherwise

Taliban says they will not pursue their enemies and women, but eyewitnesses say otherwise

On Tuesday, the Taliban pledged to respect the rights of women, to forgive those who opposed their rule, and to ensure security in Afghanistan — as part of an advertising campaign aimed at convincing world powers and frightened populations that they have changed. p>

After a lightning offensive that brought the Taliban into many cities in the country without a fight, the group tried to portray itself as more moderate than during its brutal rule in the late 1990s, writes AP. But many Afghans remain skeptical, and on Monday thousands headed to the airport hoping to flee the country.

Older generations still remember the Taliban's ultra-conservative views and laws, which included the near-total lack of rights for women. , brutal punishment and public executions — before they were driven out by US-led forces following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, during his first press conference on Tuesday, promised that the new government would respect women's rights, but within the framework of Islamic law, without specifying details. He also said the group wants private media to “remain independent,” but stressed that journalists “should not work against national values.”

In Afghanistan 🇦 🇫 women are quite literally being erased from public spaces. pic.twitter.com/J6HpDLF3t4

— Akshaya Kumar (@AkshayaSays) August 16, 2021

In addition, he assured that the Taliban are not seeking revenge on those who worked with the previous government or with foreign authorities.

«We assure that no one will go to their homes to ask why they helped.» — he argued.

Although the Taliban promised not to pursue their enemies, some in Kabul report that the militants have lists of people who collaborated with the previous government, and are actively looking for them: just like journalists or women who led active social life, being bloggers or activists.

Over the past hour, several Afghan female friends in Kabul told me the Taliban are in their neighborhoods, going house to house, looking for women in govt and media, making lists. One sent me a photo from her living room showing armed Talibs outside. & # 34; I love you, & # 34; she wrote. 💔

— Amie Ferris-Rotman (@Amie_FR) August 16, 2021

“Just an hour ago, I received news from Kabul that they were going door to door looking for women who were activists, women who were bloggers, youtubers, any women who played a role in the development of civil society in Afghanistan,” the BBC told the BBC Homira Rezai, who grew up in Afghanistan.

“They go door to door, targeting these women, and mark the doors with bright pink or bright paint to remember that“ you have to return to this house and something- what to do. ”

One of the first women mayors of Afghanistan said on Sunday that now she can only wait for death at the hands of the Taliban.

“ I am sitting here and waiting for their arrival. There is no one to help me or my family. & lt; … & gt; They will come for people like me and kill them. — says Zarifa Gafari — I cannot leave my family. And besides, where would I go? ”

Despite the dire situation, 27-year-old Gafari — the youngest mayor of Afghanistan and the first woman to take office in Maidan Shar in Wardak province — believes that there is still hope.

“Young people are aware of what is happening. They have social media. They communicate. I think they will continue to fight for progress and our rights. I believe this country has a future. ”