Kabul: When the Taliban ruled Afghanistan for the last time, the oppressive regime was even more unbearable for women, who were denied their basic rights in the country. The Taliban imposed severe restrictions on women, from not allowing girls to attend school to not allowing women to leave their homes alone and to be covered from head to toe at all times. So the news of the Taliban taking over Afghanistan was especially terrifying, especially for the country’s women. And, in a grim reminder of the past, bridal gown advertisements depicting women with exposed strands of hair were covered in fresh white paint on the first day of Taliban control in Kabul this time.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Taliban fighters took over streets and searched the homes and offices of government officials and media outlets, spreading fear and menace throughout the Afghan capital.
Armed militants set up checkpoints throughout the six-million-person city, imposed a curfew at 9 p.m., and took over army and police stations.
Fighters rode through the streets in captured US and Afghan military vehicles, flying the Taliban’s white flag. According to the report, turban-clad insurgents searched passers-phones by’s for evidence of government contacts or compromising material they deemed un-Islamic. Across the city, businesses were closed.
Laughing Taliban fighters sauntered around the Parliament building on the city’s outskirts in video footage shared on social media. Rozina, an Afghan-Canadian woman visiting Kabul with her Afghan husband, said Taliban fighters barged into their hotel while she was in the back garden on Monday morning. She dashed upstairs to their room, terrified. Minutes later, Taliban fighters entered the hotel with the hotel manager, who persuaded her to exit the bathroom where she had hidden.
Meanwhile, the Taliban declared a “amnesty” across Afghanistan on Tuesday and urged women to join its government, attempting to calm nerves in a nervous capital city that had seen chaos at its airport the day before as people tried to flee their rule.