In a powerful demonstration
of solidarity, 68 regional and international organizations and 38
individuals, including journalists, activists, professors, and human
rights advocates, have united to demand the release of Afghan WHRDs Neda
Parwani, Zholia Parsi, and, Manizha Sediqi, who were forcibly taken by
the Taliban in the past month. This collective effort underscores our
commitment to protecting and securing the fundamental rights of these
For over a month, WHRDs Neda Parwani, Zholia Parsi, along with her son, and recently Manizha Sediqi, have been forcibly taken by the Taliban. These WHRDs have been advocating for women’s rights in Afghanistan, the only country in the world where women are denied secondary and higher education.
Since the Taliban takeover, Afghan women have fearlessly led civic protests, enduring violence and persecution. Despite risks, including being pepper sprayed, abducted, tortured, and killed, they persist.
Zholia Parsi, speaking to Femena in August 2023, expressed frustrations about the impact of their struggles:
‘In an attempt to demand our rights, I started protesting on the
streets. My protests feel futile, with little hope for change.’
Since the imprisonment of Zholia, Neda, and Manizha, women protesters across Afghanistan
continue to persist and resist the Taliban. They conduct indoor
protests, urging the international community to hold the Taliban
accountable, demanding justice.
For over two years, the Taliban have violated international human rights with impunity.
Femena stands in solidarity with
these brave women, urging the world to listen and act. It is past time
to demand accountability, ensuring the voices and rights of Afghan women
are recognized and protected.
Our Call for Action:
- Pressure the Taliban: We urge UNAMA and diplomatic
missions in Afghanistan to exert pressure on the Taliban, demanding an
end to their targeted attacks on Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs)
and other civic actors within the country.
- Advocate for WHRDs: We demand that UNAMA,
diplomatic missions, and Special Envoys for Afghanistan elevate the
cases of WHRDs in Taliban prisons, advocating vigorously for their safe
release and ensuring their human rights are protected.
- Support WHRDs: We urge key international
stakeholders to provide crucial financial, protection, and relocation
support to Afghan WHRDs whenever their lives are under threat. These
measures are essential for safeguarding the lives and contributions of
these brave activists.
We, the signatories of this statement of
solidarity, demand action to support and protect Afghan Women Human
Rights Defenders (WHRDs) and advocate for their release from Taliban
prisons in Afghanistan.