• Afghanistan: Female Afghan judges hiding due to death threats from Taliban 'freed prisoners'

    Afghanistan: Female Afghan judges hiding due to death threats from Taliban 'freed prisoners'

    Kabul: More than 220 Afghan women judges have gone into hiding, fearing that they might be killed by the Taliban released criminals including terrorists and senior Al-Qaeda operatives, a report said.

    According to the report, after the Taliban took over Afghanistan, the female judges who fought for women’s rights in Afghanistan started receiving death threats from the criminals released by the Taliban.

    Speaking to BBC, Masooma, whose name has been ‘withheld,’ said, “I had convicted hundreds of men for violence against women including rape, murder and torture. Just after Taliban took over Afghanistan thousands of convicted criminals were released from prisons and the death threats begin.”

    “Text messages, voice notes and unknown numbers began bombarding my phone.” added the judge.

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    Lamenting how she flees away from her home due to the fear of the Taliban, she stated, “After we heard that Taliban had freed all the prisoners from jail we left our home and everything behind. We travelled by car out of the city, I wore burkha, so no one would recognize me. Fortunately, we passed all the talibans checkpoints.”

    After, we left our neighbour texted me that several members of the Taliban had arrived at her house and inquired about me, asserted the female judge.

    BBC in its report quoted that they spoke with six former judges from different provinces and found that their testimonies of the past five weeks were almost identical. All have received death threats from members of the Taliban whom they previously sentenced to jail.

    The report stated that all had changed their numbers at least once due to receiving death threats. Currently, all are hiding, moving locations every few days.

    However, repudiating all the accusations, Taliban spokesman Bilal Karimi told BBC, “Female judges should live like any other family without fear. No-one will threaten them. Our special military units are obliged to investigate such complaints and act if there is a violation.”

    “Our general amnesty is sincere. But if someone wish to file a case to leave the country, our request is that they do not do this and they stay in their country.” added Karimi.

    Additionally, regarding the safeguards of the female judges, Karimi asserted, “In the case of drug traffickers, mafia members, our intention is to destroy them. Our action against them will be serious.”

    Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan, they tried to delineate themselves as more tolerant and liberal than they are known. However, several incidents, including brutality, suppression especially against women and public hanging, tell a different story.

    The Taliban recently issued an order restricting male and female students from studying together. The extremist group had earlier announced that men would not teach female students in schools and Universities.

    Earlier this week, the Taliban assaulted women protestors with sticks for demanding female representation in the government. On Tuesday, the Taliban had announced an all-male interim government for Afghanistan.