Taliban order female CNN reporter to get out of their way

Taliban order female CNN reporter to get out of their way
Amid ‘chilling reports’ of abuses by the Taliban, Clarissa Ward ordered to ‘step aside’

CNN’s Clarissa Ward says she was told by Taliban forces guarding the presidential palace in Kabul to step aside “because she’s a woman”.

Ward, dressed all in black and wearing a hijab, took to the streets of Afghanistan’s capital city on Monday to report on the Taliban’s rapid takeover.

Approaching a checkpoint outside the former home of the Afghan president Ashraf Ghani, who fled the country, she said the Taliban were maintaining law and order.

“They’re just chanting death to America, but they seem friendly at the same time,” CNN’s chief correspondent noted.

Moments later, Ward said her presence was creating tension.

“They just told me to stand to the side because I’m a woman,” she said.

She said the sudden downfall of the Afghan Government and chaotic withdrawal of US forces had caused women to stay off the streets.

“I have seen a few women, but I will say I have seen far fewer women than I would ordinarily see walking down the streets of Kabul.”

The Independent has approached CNN for comment.

Ward said many women feared for their lives with the ascent of the Taliban.

Female journalists in particular were “absolutely petrified” about the prospect of retaliation for their reporting, Ward said.

“There are so many of them across the country, and they’ve been doing bold and incredible reporting for many years, and now there’s a very real fear that they might face retaliations for that or that certainly they won’t be able to do their work anymore,” she said.

On Monday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the Taliban to “respect and protect international humanitarian law” after receiving “chilling reports” of human rights abuses.

“I am particularly concerned by accounts of mounting human rights violations against the women and girls of Afghanistan who fear a return to the darkest days. It is essential that the hard-won rights of Afghan women and girls are protected,” he said. 

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