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In Afghanistan, students outside universities are stunned by armed guards

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Armed guards prevented hundreds of young women from entering university campuses in Afghanistan on Wednesday, December 21, a day after authorities decided to ban higher education for young women, who were already denied a secondary education.

On Wednesday, AFP journalists could see groups of students, stunned by the news, congregate outside the locked gates of universities in Kabul, which had been barricaded by armed guards to prevent them from entering. Videos on social media showed young women crying in front of institutions they could no longer access.

sequel after announcement

“We are doomed, we have lost everything”said a student who declined to be identified for fear of reprisals from the Taliban, who patrolled around the schools.

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Most universities are closed until March due to the winter holidays, and some remain open until now due to final exams.

Since Islamic fundamentalists came to power in August 2021, after 20 years of war with American and NATO forces, their freedom has been curtailed over the months despite international condemnations. Late Tuesday evening, the regime, with its strict interpretation of Islam, announced that Afghan public and private universities would henceforth be off-limits to girls indefinitely. No explanation has yet been provided to justify this decision.


On a sidewalk in Kabul, a young law student testified that he did not understand a decision he made“illiteracy”And the Ignorance in Islam And the “Lack of respect for human rights” said the Taliban. They want Remove women […] They stay at home and have children. That’s it. They don’t want anything else for them.”lamented a student of German literature in the capital.

sequel after announcement

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Outrage multiplied on social networks under the hashtag #LetHerLearn. Some users have shared photos of students from Nangarhar University Medical College (eastern Afghanistan) interrupting their exams in solidarity with their young female classmates.

The mathematics teacher in Kabul also announced his resignation on Facebook, saying he did not want to continue teaching. Where young girls are not allowed to study..

Many prohibitions

The new ban comes less than three months after thousands of girls and women sat university entrance exams across the country. Many of them are looking forward to choosing between careers in engineering or medicine, despite being denied access to high school.

Despite their promises to be more flexible, the Taliban returned to the strict interpretation of Islam that marked their first period in power (1996-2001).

sequel after announcement

Over a period of 16 months, liberty killing measures multiplied, in particular against women who were gradually excluded from public life and excluded from colleges and high schools. On March 23, the Taliban closed secondary schools just hours after their long-announced reopening.

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Several members of the authority said there were not enough teachers or money but also that schools would reopen once an Islamic curriculum was developed.

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In addition to being denied an education, women are also barred from most government jobs or paid a pittance to stay at home. They are also prohibited from traveling without a male relative and must wear a burqa or headscarf when leaving the house. In November, the Taliban also banned them from parks, gardens, gyms, and public baths.

The women’s protests have become fraught. Many protesters were arrested and journalists were increasingly banned from covering these rallies.

sequel after announcement

international convictions

The international community has linked recognition of the Taliban regime and much-needed humanitarian and financial assistance to Afghanistan with the Taliban’s respect for human rights, particularly women’s rights to education and employment.

Washington condemned it on Wednesday “in the strongest terms” ban, while UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it was “very worried”According to his spokesperson. Berlin, for its part, indicated that it will seize the Group of Seven from this question and confirmed that with this procedure the Taliban They decided to destroy the future of their country..

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Paris, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also denounced the decision “It adds to the list of countless violations and restrictions announced by the Taliban on the basic rights and freedoms of Afghan women.” And judged the measure “very shocking”.

Qatar, the Islamic state, which has played a key role in facilitating talks between the West and the Taliban, says everyone has a right to education and has urged Afghan leaders to reconsider. According to the teachings of the Islamic religion.. Similarly, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) indicated that the ban “seriously undermined the government’s credibility”.

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