Taliban soldiers accused of killing and mutilating 8-month pregnant policewoman

·2-min read
Afghan women take part in a protest march for their rights under the Taliban rule in the downtown area of Kabul on 3 September 2021 (AFP via Getty Images)

Taliban soldiers allegedly killed an eight-month pregnant policewoman in the city of Firozkoh, the capital of Ghor province in Afghanistan.

While the hardline group has denied the allegations, a report by BBC News citing three sources said that the Taliban beat and shot the woman, identified as Banu Negar, in front of her husband and children on Saturday.

The relatives of the victim told the British public broadcaster that she worked at the local prison and was eight-month pregnant. They added that the armed men arrived at the house on Saturday and searched it before tying the members up.

The family also supplied graphic images of blood spattered across a wall in the room and that of the body with its face disfigured.

Denying the allegations, spokesperson Zabiullah Mujaheed told the outlet: “We are aware of the incident and I am confirming that the Taliban have not killed her, our investigation is ongoing."

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Adding that the Taliban has decided to absolve those who earlier worked for the previous administration, Mr Mujaheed put the blame of Negar’s murder on “personal enmity or something else.”

The report of her killing comes amidst Taliban’s attempt to portray themselves as a more open and inclusive government. The group which took power on 15 August, almost 20 years after being ousted by US-led coalition, had made assurances about respecting women’s rights and granting amnesty to those who fought them.

But reports of brutality and repression since their resurgence tell a different story. On Saturday, Taliban broke the women’s rights protest in Kabul with “bloody violence and use of gunfire and tear gas”. It came down heavily on women, who were demanding their rights to attend school, work, and be involved in the government.

While the Taliban has said that they would allow Afghan women to attend universities, the group said that they cannot be in the same room as men and will not be taught by male teachers. Though the group is yet to finalise a framework for its government, it declared that the new rules would be based on Islamic sharia laws.

The Independent has launched a petition urging the UK government to be more ambitious in its plans to take in Afghan refugees following the Taliban seizing power and withdrawal of western troops.

Afghans are now facing a similar plight. You, our readers, have already shown your strength of feeling in letters and on social media. Here’s a chance to have your voice heard by adding your signature. We thank you for your support.

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