New Delhi: A 29-year-old rights activist and lecturer of economics has been shot dead in northern Afghanistan, in what appears to be the first known death of a women’s rights defender since the Taliban swept to power almost three months ago, The Guardian reported.
The body of the victim — Frozan Safi — was identified in a morgue in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif after she had gone missing on October 20.
“We recognised her by her clothes. Bullets had destroyed her face,” said Safi’s sister, Rita, who is a doctor, as per the report.
“There were bullet wounds all over… too many to count… on her head, heart, chest, kidneys and legs,” Rita said. Reportedly, her engagement ring and bag had also been taken.
According to the report, the Taliban security forces had on Thursday brought the bodies of two unidentified women who had been shot dead to the Balkh provincial hospital, said Meraj Faroqi.
They had been found alongside the bodies of two men in a house in Mazar-i-Sharif, said Zabihullah Noorani, the Taliban’s director for information and cultural affairs in Balkh province, who suggested that they could have been the victims of a “personal feud”.
“Police are investigating the case,” he added.
The deaths underscore the pervasive sense of fear in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, where a spate of reprisal killings of people linked to the previous government has fostered an atmosphere of impunity and confusion, the report said.
Since mid-August, women have held regular, nationwide protests against the Taliban, demanding that their rights be restored and protected.
As per the report, barely a day passes in Afghanistan without women’s rights further shrinking. Girls are de facto banned from secondary school, the new government is all-male and women have been barred from most sports and work.