When women’s anti-Taliban movements were organized, I also went to the streets to reclaim my right to work and my children’s right to education.
Each time we went to the streets, The Taliban terrorist group responded to our peaceful protests with bullets and whips. They finally took the streets from us. We came together in the roofed places to shout out for justice and raise our voices of protest.
We performed the Taliban’s violence against women in playlets, filmed and published them on social media. We simulated the schoolgirls’ confrontation with a monster like the Taliban to show the world what kind of people we were facing.
Last year, when we went to the streets to reclaim our right to work and education for women and to protest against the closure of universities and educational centers for girls, we faced, once again, violence and repression from the Taliban.
The female members of the repression squad of the Taliban attacked us. They whipped the female protesters and pulled their hair, trying to take them to prison. Our gathering was disorganized and the protesters scattered. We took taxis to return home.
A few steps away from the gathering scene, a Taliban Ford Ranger pick-up truck stopped in front of the taxi carrying me and ordered it to stop.
The Taliban soldiers ordered me to get out of the taxi and one of them asked for my mobile phone. I said I didn’t have a mobile phone, but he hastily reached into my bag and took out my mobile phone. He took the password and went directly to the gallery.
They saw photos of that day’s gathering as well as other gatherings we had held in the roofed places, saying to each other: “She also spies for the West.”
Then they dragged me toward the pick-up truck while beating, insulting, and belittling me. While riding, I wished someone would stop them from arresting me.
For a moment, I felt that the world had come to an end. They blindfolded me with a black piece of cloth. From the direction of the truck’s movement, I understood that it was taking me to the 3rd district police headquarters in Kabul city.
“I am neither a criminal nor a terrorist. Open my eyes!” I objected when they blindfolded me with a black piece of cloth. They responded to me with punches and slaps.
“How much money have you received for today’s gathering and who is your leader?” I was asked at the police headquarters. I answered that I did not come to the street for money; I wanted my right to work and study. Hearing my words, they mocked at me, asking again: “Tell us, who supports you and why do you defame us?”
After the first investigation, which was done with harsh and aggressive language, they moved me blindfolded to another place. It was a cold, smelly, and windowless room with a dirty carpet and full of a strong smell of perspiration.
When I heard the Adhan (the call to prayer), I knew it was the evening. Then, some people came in and took me blindfolded to another room for investigation. There, they uncovered my eyes and asked me repetitive questions.
The Talib who investigated me was a middle-aged and blatant man. He pointed to one of his men and the man immediately put his gun barrel on my head. The investigator restarted asking me the same questions and they heard my repetitive answers.
When asking questions for the third time, they put down the gun and ganged up on my meager body. Then, with a water hose, they hit me on my arms, back, legs, and anywhere on my body that they wanted.
Under their torture, I was just screaming and crying. “Why do you hit me?” I was yelling, saying I didn’t do anything and I was not a criminal or a terrorist. But it didn’t do the trick. They were repeating their questions and, when hearing the repetitive answers, they would hit me more furiously than before.
When they got tired of the investigation, they took me back blindfolded to the previous room. I was alone. In the morning, one of them brought my mobile. I called my father and told him that I was arrested. I hadn’t asked about my children yet when he took my mobile and turned it off.
I had no access to counsel to defend me. I had no contact with my family. My room was so cold that I couldn’t sleep at night. During the night, I would lean my head against the wall and, until the morning, think about my children, whose support was now my father.
When I was imprisoned, it was the first day of my period, but I spent it without any sanitary napkins. When I knocked on the door to go to the washroom, no one would come. I would knock on the door several times until the concierge would finally come. The female concierges, in all-wearing black dresses and masked faces, would come and open the door. But I would have to go blindfolded to the bathroom and come back to the room. The female members of the Taliban would bring food -mostly rice- for lunch and dinner.
The second night was also spent under torture with the water hose, buffets, kicks, and a gun barrel on my head. On the second day of my imprisonment, my father took my children to the police headquarters and begged the Taliban to release me or at least let him see me. But the Taliban did not accept. After 72 hours in the Taliban prison, I was unable to walk due to the severe assault and battery. My whole body was black and blue, burning with the pain.
During the three days, my old and weak father would come with my children behind the gate of the police headquarter every day and beg the Taliban terrorist group for my release.
My father and three other men, finally, came to the police headquarter. They guaranteed that I would not participate in the street protests again, that I would not go public about what had happened to me in the prison, and that I would never speak against the Taliban again. After this commitment and guarantee, four Talibs took me blindfolded out of the police headquarters and handed me over to my father.
The Taliban noted my and my father’s phone numbers and even our home address to keep an eye on us. Logn after releasing, I still remember the investigation nights and have nightmares. I am still confusingly afraid of the water hose in the yard.
I don’t know when, but one day we will definitely get back our lost freedom and our rights. I work to support my family and my loved ones. My daughter will go to school and achieve her dreams. I will not stop until reaching that day.