The Taliban have set up checkpoints in many parts of Kabul City to identify dissidents, former soldiers, and female protesters, say a number of women, who have been stopped at the Taliban checkpoints.
In most cases, several women told Nimrokh, lonely (unaccompanied by a male mahram) women and those not wearing an all-covering head-to-toe burqa are interrogated by the Taliban soldiers. Sometimes, the soldiers also frisk these women and/or check their mobile phones.
Nazifa Saei, 28, owns a sewing shop in Kabul City. She occasionally goes to her shop to manage things, and due to the lack of public transportation services in her place of residence, she has to take a taxi.
Nazifa has been stopped and interrogated several times at the checkpoints of the Taliban, the terrorist group.
“The Taliban [soldiers] ask why am I traveling alone, without a [male] mahram,” she told Nimrokh. “I told them that I couldn’t take a mahram with me at a distance not so far from home. Then, they checked my mobile phone, and when they found nothing, they let me go.”
While Nazifa was being interrogated at the checkpoint, she noticed that the Taliban soldiers stopped an unaccompanied woman in a taxi at the same checkpoint.
“When I left the checkpoint, the woman had been taken out of the taxi. After searching her bag, the soldiers also had frisked her,” she said.
Zulaikha (pseudonym), 19, who has come from Balkh province to Kabul to complete the administrative procedures of her school certificate, was stopped and interrogated for the same reason by the Taliban soldiers while commuting around the city. The Taliban soldiers have warned her not to commute alone by taxi.
“On the days that I had to go to the Ministry of Education early in the morning to pursue the administrative procedures of my certificate, I had to take a taxi, but I was inquired at the Taliban checkpoints,” she told Nimrokh. “They warned me not to commute alone again, and warned the driver not to transport unaccompanied women anymore.”
The women who have reacted to this action by the Taliban have been threatened with detention and imprisonment.
Nazia Alavi is another woman who occasionally goes out alone and is inquired at the Taliban checkpoints.
“At every checkpoint, the Taliban soldiers would ask where was I going,” Nazia told Nimrokh. “When I would mention the name of a place, they would ask for my National ID card. One day, I asked them why were they annoying me like that, but they responded with a threat of detention. When I wanted to ask something else, they said imperiously: ‘Be quiet, otherwise if you are arrested, then….’”
The last time that Nazia was inquired by the Taliban was about a week ago at Sar-e-pol bus station, in PD13 of Dasht- e-Barchi, Kabul.
At their checkpoints, the Taliban terrorist group members harass people without respecting their privacy. Women are tired of being harassed at the Taliban checkpoints, but they don’t know where to complain.
The women who have been interrogated and frisked by the Taliban soldiers at the checkpoints and whose privacy has been violated (for instance, the contents of their mobile phones have been checked), believe that, by doing so, the Taliban are trying to reconnoiter and arrest their opponents, former soldiers, and female protesters.
On 12 February 2023, the Taliban soldiers identified and arrested Narges Sadat, an anti-Thaliban protester, from the Pol-e-Sorkh area of Kabul City, by checking her mobile phone. Narges Sadat was active in the anti-Taliban civil demonstrations in Kabul City and, during the protests, she was injured by the Taliban soldiers on 03 September 2022.
Men are also complaining about the harassment, physical search, and checking of the contents of their mobile phones at the Taliban checkpoints, but in recent weeks, unaccompanied women in Kabul City have been interrogated and frisked more than ever.