UN says Taliban have further tightened restrictions on Afghan women and girls

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Taliban authorities have further tightened restrictions on women and girls in Afghanistan in recent months, including on education and employment, the UN said in a report on the situation of human rights. the man released on Monday.

The Taliban Ministry of Public Health announced that only men would be allowed to take exams to pursue specialized medical studies, the UN mission in Afghanistan said in the report, which covers developments in May and June.

This follows a ban on female medical students taking graduation exams announced in February and a ban on women attending universities issued last December, according to the report.

The UN said it has recorded instances in which the Taliban applied previously announced limitations on women’s freedom of movement and employment.

In early May, two female Afghan staff of an international non-governmental organization were arrested by Taliban forces at an airport because they were traveling without a male companion, or mahram, according to the report.

In June, a midwife was detained and interrogated for five hours by Taliban intelligence services, who threatened her with death if she continued her work with an NGO. She resigned two days later as a result, according to the report.

“Two other NGOs had their licenses suspended by the de facto Ministry of Economy due to the presence of female employees in their offices,” he said.

Physical violence against women has also been reported, including an incident in which members of the Taliban’s vice and virtue department beat a woman with a stick and forced her out of a public park, it said. -he adds.

Despite initial promises of a more moderate regime than during their previous period in power in the 1990s, the Taliban have imposed tough measures since seizing Afghanistan in August 2021 as US and NATO forces were withdrawing.

They barred women from most areas of public life and work and suppressed media freedom. They banned girls from going to school beyond sixth grade and banned Afghan women from working in local and non-governmental organizations. The ban was extended to UN employees in April.

The measures sparked a fierce international outcry, deepening the country’s isolation at a time when its economy has collapsed and deepening a humanitarian crisis.

Under the first Taliban regime, from 1996 to 2001, corporal punishment and public executions were inflicted by officials on those convicted of crimes, often in sports stadiums.

In June, the Taliban carried out what is believed to be its second public execution since returning to power. The first was last December, when a man convicted of murdering another man was executed with an assault rifle by the victim’s father in western Farah province in front of hundreds of spectators and many senior Taliban leaders.

The second was a man identified as Ajmal in the capital, Kabul, who was convicted of murdering five people last year.

In May, the UN said 274 men, 58 women and two boys had been publicly flogged in the previous six months.

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