Last week, bodies of four Afghan women’s activists were discovered in Mazar-i-Sharif, northern Afghanistan. One of the victims was identified as Frozan Safi, a 30-year-old activist and private university economics lecturer. According to Safi’s family, she left her home on October 27 after she received an anonymous call asking her to collect her documents because they would take her abroad. Frozan was expecting a call as she was waiting to leave the country, her request for asylum in Germany was in progress. Her body, along with the bodies of three other women were found in a pit near the Khalid ibn al-Walid town in Mazar-i-Sharif. “
Her face was destroyed by the bullets, there were bullet wounds all over, too many to count, on her head, heart, chest, kidneys, and legs,” her sister told the reporter.
According to the Australian news, the four victims said to have participated in public demonstrations against Taliban repression. Afghan women have been protesting almost every week since the Taliban regained power in Afghanistan, demanding their rights to education and work. But as time passed, the Taliban became increasingly harsh and have in fact known to beat women, many women have gone into hiding, and now the bodies of four women protestors have been found.
Heather Barr, associate women’s rights director of the Human Rights Watch, told The Weekend Australian, “it felt like it was just a matter of time, we knew they had been tracking women down after protests to intimidate them. This is a scary new development.”
While no group has claimed responsibility for the murders, the incident adds to fear for women’s rights activists, as well as previous government employees and national security forces who have been reportedly targeted and assassinated since the Taliban retook the country.
Sources: The Guardian 11/5/21; The Australian