Report: Taliban Sending Freed Criminals to Persecute Women Judges Who Convicted Them

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Women who served as judges under the former government of Afghanistan have denounced visits by criminals they convicted to their homes, presumably seeking to harm them, Reuters reported on Friday.

The criminals are back on the streets thanks to the return of the Taliban, a radical Islamist terrorist organization, to power. Taliban jihadists completed their overthrow of the Afghan government on August 15 following ex-President Ashraf Ghani’s flight from Kabul. Under the prior Taliban rule between 1996 and 2001, the jihadists banned girls from receiving education and banned women from the workplace, relegating them to their homes and denying them a place in society.

While Taliban spokesmen insist they will allow women to have jobs this time under their interpretation of sharia, or Islamic law, professional women in Afghanistan have documented consistent Taliban persecution against them for the past three weeks.

Among the first acts Taliban terrorists committed upon seizing power was to free hundreds, if not thousands, of jihadist prisoners, which Reuters noted “really puts the lives of women judges in danger.” Many of these judges have successfully fled the country, the outlet reported, but others remain trapped.

“In Kabul, ‘four or five Taliban members came and asked people in my house: ‘Where is this woman judge?’ These were people who I had put in jail,'” one of these judges, in exile, reportedly told Reuters anonymously.

The judge said she has been in touch with colleagues in Afghanistan.

“Their messages are of fear and complete terror,” she said. “They tell me if they do not get rescued their lives are in direct danger.”

Horia Mosadiq, an Afghan human rights defender, said freed prisoners “are calling with death threats to women judges, women prosecutors and women police officers, saying ‘we will come after you.’”

An Afghan policewoman stands in formation during a graduation ceremony at a police training centre in Herat on December 22, 2011. Some 500 officers graduated following their eight-week training course at Ansar 606 police training centre in the western province of Herat. AFP PHOTO / Aref Karimi (Photo credit should read Aref Karimi/AFP via Getty Images)

An Afghan policewoman stands in formation during a graduation ceremony at a police training centre in Herat on December 22, 2011. Some 500 officers graduated following their eight-week training course at Ansar 606 police training center in the western province of Herat. (Aref Karimi/AFP via Getty Images)

British Justice Minister Robert Buckland said last week that the country had evacuated nine female judges and the Brits are working to remove more.

“A lot of these judges were responsible for administering the rule of law and quite rightly they are fearful about the consequences that could now face them with the rise of the Taliban,” Buckland said.

Human rights activists have criticized the U.S. and other western countries for not making evacuating women a priority.

“The responsibility that we bear is almost unbearable at the moment because we are one of the few people taking responsibility for this group,” Patricia Whalen, an American judge who helped train Afghan female judges in a 10-year program, told Reuters.

“I am furious about that,” Whalen said. “None of us should be in this position.”

Women remaining in the country have organized anti-Taliban protests since the fall of the government. This week, women protested on the streets of Herat demanding the Taliban give women positions of power in their new, allegedly “inclusive” government.

TOPSHOT - An Afghan woman protester (3L) speaks with a member (R) of the Taliban during a protest in Herat on September 2, 2021. - Defiant Afghan women held a rare protest on September 2 saying they were willing to accept the all-encompassing burqa if their daughters could still go to school under Taliban rule. (Photo by - / AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

An Afghan woman protester (3L) speaks with a member (R) of the Taliban during a protest in Herat on September 2, 2021. Defiant Afghan women held a rare protest on September 2, saying they were willing to accept the all-encompassing burqa if their daughters could still go to school under Taliban rule. (AFP via Getty Images)

Although the Taliban has claimed it will honor women’s rights, reports reveal women are already suffering, the Wall Street Journal reported:

In some areas of Afghanistan that fell to Taliban control in recent weeks, the group imposed restrictions on women. Women were banned from leaving the house without a male relative and forced to wear burqas, which cover a woman from head to toe. Some commanders demanded families hand over unmarried women to marry their fighters. In Kabul, images of women outside beauty parlors have been painted over or ripped off. Female teachers were barred from teaching to boys. Female journalists employed by state TV, now under Taliban control, were stopped from going to work.

CMI, an independent development research institute in Norway, interviewed a woman judge in Afghanistan in 2020.

“I believe that the Afghanistan judicial system is regaining its decency,” Anis Rasooli, head of the Court of Appeal for Serious Crimes of Corruption, said in the CMI interview. “There are still problems, but considerable progress is being implemented.”

“If the current situation continues, I am optimistic about the future of the judiciary in Afghanistan,” Rasooli said. “However, if this trend is interrupted because of conflict or political and social unrest, then no one knows what the future of the judicial system will be.”

A resident washes a road following gunmen shot dead two Afghan women judges working for the Supreme Court, in Kabul on January 17, 2021. - Gunmen shot dead two Afghan women judges working for the Supreme Court during an early morning ambush in the country's capital on January 17, officials said, as a wave of assassinations continues to rattle the nation. (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP) (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

A resident washes a road following gunmen shot dead two Afghan women judges working for the Supreme Court, in Kabul on January 17, 2021. (WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

“In terms of numbers, however, the most significant increase of female judges in Afghanistan’s history occurred with the post-2001 legal reconstruction,” CMI reported in June 2021. “As of today there are between 250 and 300 female judges in the country, most of them in Kabul, comprising approximately 8–10 percent of the judiciary as a whole. 

Even before the Taliban takeover female judges have been targeted, including two Supreme Court justices who were gunned down in January 2021.

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter or send news tips to pstarr@breitbart.com. 

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