Taliban Imprisoning Afghan Women for Minor Violations of Strict Islamic Law; An ITV Documentary Unveils Brutality

Many women forced to marry Taliban fighters either set themselves on fire or drink bleach to escape domestic violence.

Scores of Afghan women are being imprisoned by Taliban for 'unseemly and immoral' behavior after series of promises were made globally to support and defend their rights. An ITV documentary exposes the condition of women and girls in Taliban ruled Afghanistan.

Filmed by British Iranian journalist Ramita Navai, the documentary revealed that women were being jailed for minor violations of stringent Islamic law. Several women were interviewed in Herat Women's Prison by an undercover camera crew which saw nearly 50 of them were in lock-ups and others scattered across the yards.

Taliban women
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In the documentary Afghanistan: No Country for Women, there are exclusive stories of women claimed to have been tasered and beaten and in some instances pressurized to marry members of the Taliban in return for their freedom. The film crew also came across stories of young girls kidnapped by Taliban members from the streets and forced into marriages, the Daily Mail reported.

There are many suicide cases as well wherein in order to escape domestic violence the women have either set themselves on fire or consumed poisonous substances.

"This is the Afghanistan the Taliban don't want the world to see," Navai said. "We're entering a world where women are disappearing, where they're jailed without trial, their fate unknown; where girls are abducted from their homes and forcibly married; where women live in hiding, hunted and in fear of their lives and those who speak out risk imprisonment."

Taliban women
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Since the takeover last year, Taliban has introduced a plethora of misogynist laws with any failure to compliance resulting in unfavorable consequences. The one most talked about, in the current times is a decree passed by the Taliban's Ministry for the Prevention of Vice and Promotion of Virtue, which replaced the previous women's ministry.

The decree being referred to as 'advice' by the Taliban officials, will have women dressed head-to-toe in blue colored Burkha with only their eyes partially visible. According to BBC, there were specific steps to be followed in situations of non-compliance, the first being when the women's husband or father or brother would be visited, second with their summoning to the ministry and third when the male guardian could be imprisoned for three days. The 'advice' also includes that women should not step outside their homes when there is no important work outside.

Khalid Hanafi, the acting minister of the Vice and Virtue Ministry states: "Islamic ideology are more important to us than anything else, we want our sisters to live with dignity and safety Islamic principles."

Shir Mohammad, another official from the ministry, added: "For all dignified Afghan women, wearing hajib is necessary and the best hajib is chadori [the head-to-toe burka] which is part of our tradition and is respectful. Those women who are not too old or young must cover their face, except the eyes."

Other restrictions imposed on women and girls include no travelling more than 45 miles without a male relative, prohibition from appearing in movies and TV shows, and not allowed to work with men or employed in government offices.

@NilofarAyoubi twitter
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