Dozens of women have protested the formation of an all-male interim Taliban government to rule Afghanistan in Kabul and the north-eastern Afghan province of Badakhshan.
Demonstrators have stated that they will not accept a government with no female ministers.
Before the protests were dispersed, some women were allegedly beaten.
According to one news organization, some of its journalists were detained and beaten while covering the rally.
The Taliban, who have yet to respond to the allegations, have warned that such demonstrations are illegal.
They have stated that protesters must obtain permission to march and must refrain from using abusive language. Three people were killed during a protest in the western city of Herat on Tuesday.
The EU charged that the Islamist group had broken promises to make their government “inclusive and representative,” while the US expressed concern that the interim government included figures linked to attacks on US forces.
The US State Department expressed concern about the “affiliations and track records of some of the individuals” in a statement.
The anti-Taliban National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRF) has urged the international community not to recognize the new government, calling the cabinet “illegal” and a “clear indication of the group’s enmity with the Afghan people.” The Taliban claim to have defeated the NRF in the Panjshir Valley north of Kabul, but NRF leaders say the fight continues.
The Taliban made the first appointments to its interim cabinet, which will be led by Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, on Tuesday.
When the Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, Hassan Akhund was foreign minister and later deputy prime minister. He, like many of the new cabinet ministers, is subject to UN sanctions as a result of his position in that government.
Sirajuddin Haqqani, another incoming minister, is the leader of the notorious Haqqani network. Unlike the Taliban as a whole, the Haqqani network has been designated by the US as a foreign terrorist organization. It also has strong ties to al-Qaeda.
According to the FBI, Haqqani was responsible for some of the deadliest attacks of the 20-year-long conflict, including a truck bomb explosion in Kabul in 2017 that killed more than 150 people.
The FBI is looking for him in connection with an attack on a hotel in 2008 that resulted in the death of an American.
On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will convene a virtual meeting of 20 Western nations to coordinate a set of conditions for engagement with the Taliban government. More than three weeks ago, the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in a massive offensive. In the conflict-torn country, they now face numerous difficult challenges, including stabilizing the economy and gaining international recognition.
Earlier on Tuesday, a statement attributed to Taliban Supreme Leader Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada urged the government to uphold Sharia law, the legal system of Islam.
The Taliban are well-known for their zealous interpretation of Sharia law.
According to the statement, the Taliban wants “strong and healthy” relations with other countries and will respect international laws and treaties as long as they do not conflict with “Islamic law and the country’s national values.” The new interim prime minister, Hassan Akhund, is more influential on the religious side of the movement than on the military side.
Following recent reports of infighting between some relatively moderate Taliban figures and their hardline colleagues, his appointment is seen as a compromise.
A long-hidden movement, whose names would only appear on the world’s terrorism watch lists, is now announcing titles used in governments all over the world.
Acting Prime Minister Mullah Akhund appears to be a middle-ground candidate, despite reported rivalries among key military and political figures who will serve under him. Its caregiver nature also allows the Taliban to take a breather as they transition from guns to government.
It also emphasizes the Taliban’s belief that a Taliban victory can only result in Taliban rule. According to sources, they resisted calls for a “inclusive” government. They objected to including former political figures and officials who have served in positions of power, particularly those tainted by corruption.
“Why should we let others choose our cabinet when other countries get to choose their own?” one retorted.
Women were never going to be given a ministerial position, and the ministry of women’s affairs appears to have been abolished entirely for the time being.