Afghan activist arrested by armed men in January has been ‘released’

Afghan activist arrested by armed men in January has been ‘released’
About 29 women were among the 40 people reportedly detained by Taliban on Friday

Tamana Zaryabi Paryani, a female activist arrested by armed men in Afghanistan in January has been released, BBC reported, citing sources.

Ms Paryani was arrested shortly after she participated in a series of anti-Taliban protests in Kabul following their compulsory Islamic headscarf order.

Before her arrest, Paryani had posted a video on social media, pleading for help alleging that the Taliban was at her door.

“Help please, the Taliban have come to our home… only my sisters are home,” she is heard saying in the footage, with other female voices captured in the video, crying. “I can’t open the door. Please… help!”

While spokesperson for Taliban intelligence Khalid Hamraz neither confirmed nor denied the arrest, he tweeted at the time, “insulting the religious and national values of the Afghan people is not tolerated anymore”, reported The Diplomat.

Alongside the reports of her release emerged those of detention of 29 women and their families in Kabul.

Rina Amiri, a senior US diplomat in a now-deleted tweet said that about 29 women were among the 40 people detained by Taliban on Friday, reported the Guardian. “These unjust detentions must stop.” The outlet added, that the state department did not respond to their request seeking clarification on why the post was removed.

The accusations come even as the Taliban continued to persuade the world to recognise and financially support their government, while continuing its crackdown on dissenting voices.

The group had earlier arrested several journalists, including two foreign journalists, working on an assignment with UNHCR. They were however, released on Friday after their detention led to a huge international outcry.

Following their release, a number of women staged protests in Kabul demanding the release of female activists who have been detained and have since been missing.

“We held a demonstration in reaction to all the problems created by the Taliban group for the people of Afghanistan,” Monisa, a protester, told Tolo News. “You (Islamic Emirate) detained them, without having any female soldier, this is against Islam,” another protester Taranom Saeedi told the outlet.

A spokesperson for the Islamic Emirate, meanwhile, said they are probing the matter and gathering information about the fate of the missing women.

Slamming the Taliban for the disappearances, Sahar Fetrat, assistant researcher for Human Rights Watch’s women’s rights division, told the Washington Post that through these abductions, “the Taliban are sending a clear message about how society should function, who is the authority and the power, and how people should obey it”.

“It’s about stopping any kind of activism, any kind of protest against the Taliban.”