Women’s Rights Activist Frozan Safi Found Shot Dead In Taliban-Ruled Afghanistan

frozan safi
Over two months into the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, news is coming in of the first reported death of a women’s rights activist under the new regime. Frozan Safi was shot to death, her body recently found in the northern part of the country days after she is said to have first gone missing. She was 29 years old.

An activist as well as a professor, Safi had reportedly been partaking in protests against the Taliban’s oppressive rule, along with other women. Her body was found at a house in the Balkh province in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, according to AFP. A Taliban spokesperson confirmed the deaths of three other women besides Safi.

Two arrests were made in the case, the spokesperson said, adding it was suspected “the women were invited to the house by them.”

Safi’s death is set against the context of a hostile environment in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, especially for women seeing a major clampdown on their fundamental rights. Ever since the radical Islamist group came to power on August 15, for the first time after 2001, Afghan women have bravely taken to the streets in demand for their rights to participate in politics, education and public life. This, despite the ruling party’s ban on protest gatherings and dissent. More stories on Afghan women here.

Frozan Safi’s Death Fuels Taliban Terror: What You Should Know

According to a report by The GuardianSafi was invited by an anonymous caller to a safe house last month following which she packed some documents of her identity and left to seek cover. She had reportedly applied for asylum in Germany in the wake of Taliban terror.

Safi’s sister, a doctor, was quoted saying her face was “destroyed” by bullets. “There were bullet wounds all over, too many to count…”

The Afghan women, including activists, SheThePeople spoke to after the Taliban seized power following the withdrawal of US troops from the country all relayed fears of a return to the “dark days” of the 1990s. The radical movement was notorious for curbing women and girls’ rights in the country during its previous rule and, despite promises of change, is showing similar tendencies.

Reports from Afghanistan indicate women have been pushed out of jobs to be replaced by male relatives, issued directives for not stepping out without male companions and assaulted for clothing choices. Girls have been barred from secondary education in what is being held as a deeply worrying humanitarian crisis.

Image: Zahra Rahimi, TOLO News (Twitter)

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