Women’s Rights Activist Zarifa Yaqoobi Released by Taliban After Being Imprisoned For 40 Days; No News on Release Of Her Male Colleagues

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Guess what? After over a month of detention, prominent women’s rights activist, Zarifa Yaqoobi, was finally released from Taliban prison in Kabul. However, there were no reports about the condition or release of her male colleagues.

Go deeper:

  • Along with Yaqoobi, four of her other male colleagues had also been imprisoned with her on November 3 by the Taliban.
  • Taliban officials have not yet commented on the release of Yaqoobi.
  • Fawzia Kofi, a former member of Afghanistan’s lower house of parliament, also confirmed that Yaqoobi was released.
  • There is no immediate information on Yaqoobi’s health condition.

Back story: The Taliban arrested Zarifa Yaqubi, a prominent women’s rights activist, on November 3rd, during a press conference in Dasht-e Barchi, Kabul.

  • The Taliban detained the five activists during a press conference where they were announcing a Afghan Women’s rights group in Kabul.
  • Many international organisations, including the United Nations, have reacted to Yaqoobi’s arrest and demanded her immediate release.
  • After the arrest of Yaqoobi, the Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that the women’s rights activists receive orders from outside Afghanistan to echo trust deficit with the Taliban regime.
  • Earlier, The United Nations Human Rights Office had also urged the Taliban to release women rights activist Zarifa Yaqoobi and her colleagues. The office had said that “silencing women and constraining their work does not affect them alone, and it impacts all of society”.

Zoom out: This comes even as the Norwegian Nobel Peace Forum held a meeting on Afghanistan at a ceremony in Oslo where a number of Afghan women activists spoke about their situation in the country.

  • Nobel Peace Prize forum says it addresses an important question on how the West should interact with the Taliban.
  • Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking on the panel, said Taliban representatives at the Doha peace talks had said they had a “different look” at girls’ education, but it wasn’t long after they came to office that they “made whatever promises they made.”
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