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Taliban Assassinates Renowned Women’s Rights Activist

Taliban Assassinates Renowned Women’s Rights Activist

The Telegraph reports that Taliban gunmen killed Sitara Achakzai, a women’s rights activist, outside of her home in the city of Kandahar in broad daylight.  Police chief Matiullah Khan Qateh said four men drove up on two motorcycles and shot Sitara Achakzai as she was getting out of her car. As Women on the Web reports, the Taliban have been after Achakzai ever since she returned from Germany after the war to work for women’s rights in Afghanistan: 

“This isn’t the first time Achakzai found herself in extremists’ cross-hairs. She was injured in a suicide attack at a Kandahar government building two weeks ago. She had just returned from the hospital when the assassination occurred. Her friends urged her to leave the country, but Ms. Achakzai insisted on staying in Afghanistan.”

Achakzai helped organize a nationwide sit-in during which women thousands of Afghan women prayed for peace to mark International Women’s Day.

The Taliban quickly took credit for the assassination.  Achakzai’s assassination occurs only a few days after the Afgahnistan government was forced into reconsidering its infamous family law that legalized rape of wives by their husbands. Wenny Kusmuma, the Director of the United Nations Development fund for Women in Afghanistan said:

“This cold-blooded assassination puts in question the direction that Afghanistan is heading. There is no respect for the rule of law.”

Read more:

Photo courtesy of the Afghan Embassy

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36 comments

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4:37AM PDT on Apr 23, 2009

Tommy H. The Dalai Lama is a hypocrite. He was not the peace loving patriarch that he claims to be. Instead he was a brutal dictator, no better than the communist regime which now controls Tibet

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYEOSCIOnrs

5:22AM PDT on Apr 17, 2009

Well said, Rob & Jay, and Simon.

See my post on "Teenage Girl Flogged by Taliban."

10:09PM PDT on Apr 16, 2009

I am not sure how much the US will get involve with another country if there is no money to be made. I feel That is one of the worst thigns happening on this planet. Our Gov. is not worried about people's rights really. War is not about people's rights even though they want you to believe that. Look at Tibet who our country refuses to help them. They are one of the most spiritual group of people in the world. Now lets talk about woman men inside the US still treat them second rate. I mean a sex object. Any group of men always get into talking about sex. I think it is very sick.If men in the US thought they could rape their wives they would because many still do. T Hawksblood

12:51PM PDT on Apr 16, 2009

Yeah Rob & Jay ,,, u r right in ur own context but trace the history and then thank US and its allies to form such elements in this region as u have mentioned ,,,, can u just imagine the life of a common man in such hostile environments??? i hope u do ...

5:59AM PDT on Apr 16, 2009

The news reported last night that the Taliban had just executed a young man & woman who were planning to elope. Shot them dead in cold blood.

I have been asking for a while now why the US & others are in Afghanistan? The EU, for the most part, had the sense to avoid the illegal invasion of Iraq, which has now installed another Middle Eastern Islamic "Republic" where women now must veil to avoid violent acts against them, homosexual people are being killed at an increasing rate & where non-Muslims are being persecuted like they never were under Saddam, when Iraq was the most advanced of Middle Eastern countries.

SO WHY ARE WESTERN YOUTH BEING SENT TO DIE IN AFGHANISTAN? This country is the opposite of everything valued in the West. There is no religious freedom, it is the death penalty for any Muslim to leave Islam (as in 6 other Muslim lands) & also for being born gay (along with 6 other Muslim lands). A new law (see Care2) makes it legal for a husband to rape his unwilling wife every 4 days, she can't leave the house without his permission & must have a male escort when she does leave her tiny prison & if he divorces her he or his father get the children even if they are scumbags & she is mother of the year (a practice not uncommon in Muslim countries according to the Koran).

Their "Constitution" is based on 7th Cent. religious ideology (think Old Testament=Koran). And taxpayers are paying billions & young people are dying for thi

1:46AM PDT on Apr 16, 2009

I agree with what Simon Woods is saying ... one needs to differentiate between genocide and eliminating those who are involved in voilence against women in different forms ... Thanks to United States for creating all these elements which are creating such a havoc ,,,

1:38AM PDT on Apr 16, 2009

Its a shame that male chauvinists can be so brutal irrespective of their faiths and rligion. I dont understand why respective scholars are keeping mum and not spreading the teachings. As far as my knowledge is concerned, no faith specially the divine religions have advocated voilence against women. I doubt they will resort to such a shameful act when it comes to their own daughter, brutalized by some other male.
UNO must pass a resolution followed by enactment of law against female voilence by all member countries.

2:59PM PDT on Apr 15, 2009

If enough women in Afganistan stand up & fill Sitata Achakzai's shoes as leaders & supporters of women's rights then her martyrdom will not be in vain. They might have to be at it for a long while, but history shows that if they stay the course they will win.

11:25AM PDT on Apr 15, 2009

It is unfortunate that there still exists in this time, a Patriarchial governmental system which condones the silencing of Women who dare to speak up for Women's Rights in Afghanistan.
The Taliban is a fancy anacronym for all those male-orientated conglomerates who are only interested in intimidation and world control.
Power to all those women who've defied fear of reprisals and death to fight for their/our right to maintain control over our bodies. Peace in our Quest for Truth

8:54AM PDT on Apr 15, 2009

Before you start flinging around murderous and genocidal opinions like you know about Afghanistan, please learn the modern history of Afghanistan and about what the U.S. government has done to create and perpetuate the fundamentalism, terrorism, opium trade, women's rights abuses and other human rights abuses - something that you will NOT read in the capitalist media, e.g. please read this great article:

http://www.care2.com/news/member/860103097/1097035

...and especially please read what the WOMEN of Afghanistan say, e.g. here, on the website of the oldest women's rights organisation in Afghanistan:

http://www.rawa.org

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