International groups reacted to the disappearance of two women's rights activists and called for an immediate investigation into the issue.
The UN Assistant Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) voiced its concerns over the “disappearance of two Afghan women activists, Tamana Zaryabi Paryani and Parawana Ibrahimkhel, reportedly abducted from their homes overnight Wednesday.”
“We urge the Taliban to provide information on their whereabouts and to protect rights of all Afghans,” UNAMA said.
Tamana Zaryab Paryani and Parwana Ibrahimkhel were two women activists who had staged demonstrations in support of women's rights in Kabul.
“We are deeply concerned about the whereabouts of the two protesters who were arrested on Wednesday night. It is coming on four days now that they have been missing and there is no information. The Taliban have denied that they have taken these women, but they also haven’t indicated that they have any knowledge… of their whereabouts or any plan to try to locate them,” said Heather Barr, Associate women's rights director of Human Rights Watch.
“We call on the UN to hear the voice of Afghan women, especially the voice of female protesters, because protesting is the right of every citizen. The protestors must not be suppressed,” said Waheeda Amiri, a women's rights activist.
Some women's rights defenders earlier staged gatherings in the capital Kabul and central province of Bamiyan, where they called for the release of Paryani and Ibrahimkhel.
“We are not aware of the location of the women who have been detained despite five days passing. Why is everyone silent ... at least inform us about their health condition,” said a participant.
However, the Islamic Emirate denied the alleged arrests of these two activists, saying that it has started an investigation into the case.
“The investigation is underway to find out the truth, but we haven’t found any clues about them. Efforts are underway,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman of the Islamic Emirate.
The disappearance of Paryani and Ibrahimkhel sparked a widespread reaction among social media users in Afghanistan.
Some prominent Afghan figures condemned the crackdown on women rights activists’ residences, saying such actions are not in accordance with human values.