Scores of men and women have taken to the streets of Kabul to protest the recent public slaying of an Afghan woman whose gruesome, execution-style killing was captured on video.
The crowd of demonstrators carried large white sheets on Wednesday that said “International community: Where is the protection and justice for Afghan women?”
The death of the woman, who was said to be in her 20s, set off a storm of condemnation. They marched from the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs to a traffic circle near a UN compound, and some shouted: “Death to those who did this act!”
“We want the government to take action on behalf of these women … who are victims of violence and who are being killed,” said Zuhra Alamyar, a woman activist who was at the Kabul rally. “We want the government to take serious action and stop them.”
The video footage, which surfaced recently, shows the woman being shot multiple times about 10 days ago in Parwan province, north of the Afghan capital. The gunman was encouraged by people who stood nearby, smiling and cheering.
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Police in Parwan said the Taliban were behind the killing, but the group have denied they ordered or carried out the slaying.
President Hamid Karzai, the US embassy, General John Allen, top NATO military commander in Afghanistan, and activist groups all denounced the killing.
It was a reminder that girls and women still suffer shocking abuse in Afghanistan, but the protest also indicated that people’s views on women’s rights there could be slowly changing.