Female protesters detained in Kabul and Takhar
While one of the protesters was reportedly released the next day, women's rights protester Narges Sadat is thought to still be in detention.
15 Feb 2023
In mid-February, the Taliban reportedly detained two female protestors, Parisa Mubariz and Narges Sadat.
Parisa Mubariz, the leader of the Women’s Movement of Takhar, was allegedly detained along with her brother in Taloqan, the capital of Takhar province, on February 11, but was reportedly released the next day.
Sadat’s close relatives told Rukhshana Media that she was unwell and had been intending to go to her sister’s house in Kart-e-Chahar. However, on the way, she encountered a Taliban checkpoint, and after inspecting her phone, the group recognised her and detained her.
At the time of writing, there has been no news of her release. Footage of a protest calling for Sadat’s release was shared on social media on February 15, indicating she was still in detention at this point. The Taliban reportedly barred Sadat’s husband and family from visiting her.
According to a report by BBC Persian, the Taliban also detained another female protester, named Arezo, the same day.
Parisa Mubariz released after one day
Parisa Mubariz is said to be the sister of Munisa Mubariz, a well-known women’s rights activist, protester, and the founder of the Main Movement of Powerful Women of Afghanistan. Based on media reports and Mubariz’s interview with Afghanistan International, the Taliban detained Mubariz and her 19-year-old brother from their house in Taloqan city at around 0800 local time.
Mubariz’s close relatives told Rukhshana Media that two Taliban policewomen entered Mubariz’s house and detained her without giving reasons to her family. Based on the same report, a male Taliban police officer later entered Mubariz’s house and took her phone. Another protestor told the media that Mubariz had been preparing a programme for International Women’s Day on March 8.
The Taliban reportedly released Mubariz and her brother on February 12, after she allegedly pledged to Taliban intelligence that she would no longer attend protests, and the local community elders intervened. In interviews with Afghanistan International and Radio Azadi, Mubariz claimed that the Taliban beat and tortured her for not sharing the password for her phone.
The activist founded the Women’s Movement of Takhar following the Taliban’s ban on women’s access to university on December 20, 2022, when she and her colleagues lost their jobs at the university.
Women in Takhar have held protests against the Taliban’s recent restrictions since at least December 22, 2022. Protests on December 24 led to the alleged detention of at least six female protesters. On January 8, the group reportedly attempted to conduct another protest but were obstructed by the Taliban, and on February 5, the group protested again, marching through the streets and showing their educational documents.
Since they returned to power in August 2021 and with the rise of women’s movements and protests, the Taliban have allegedly detained dozens of female protesters.
In early November 2022, the Taliban allegedly detained Zarifa Yaghubi, Zainab Rahimi and Farhat Popalzai, who were later released, and in late December 2022, the Taliban reportedly detained several protesters in Kabul and at least six women protesters in Takhar province.
As of February 15, the Taliban have not commented on the alleged detentions of Mubariz and Sadat.