Afghanistan’s top female cop on the run after ‘brutal beating’ from Taliban
One of Afghanistan’s most senior policewomen is thought to have gone on the run after a savage beating from members of the Taliban.
When the hardline group regained power in Afghanistan they promised to be a a "kinder, gentler" Taliban, with spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claiming that "The Islamic Emirate is committed to the rights of women within the framework of Sharia."
At the same press conference he declared a general "amnesty" for enemies of the Taliban.
But the group has failed to deliver on those promises, with a well-known Afghan folk singer shot dead in the Baghlan province on Tuesday, after Taliban officials announced a ban on playing music in public.
Top cop Gulafroz Ebtekar, 34, was a deputy head of criminal investigations in Afghanistan's Interior Ministry and was widely seen as a role model for other Afghan women.
“At the beginning it was unimaginable, people generally believed only the illiterate and least capable individual end up serving in the ranks of police,” she told reporters in March.
“With time, that has changed and improved a lot thanks to focused efforts to address issues of disrespect, sexual abuse and discrimination against female in the ranks of police.
“More and more educated girls even from well-off and respected families are entering [the] police and are having equal pay and perks,” Gulafroz added.
But now she is trying to get out of Afghanistan before the Taliban can take complete control. She managed to make it to a refugee camp overseen by US troops.
However, a terrorist attack threw Gulafroz's escape plan into chaos. The American troops told her they were not able to help and her requests for help from the Russian embassy were also turned down.
When she tried to return to Kabul’s besieged airport, Taliban members assaulted her, she told Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets.
"The Taliban acted like this: first they hit, then allowed you to move. You take one or two steps, and pay for it.
"They beat me with fists, boots, weapons and even stones."
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Gulafroz went on: “I spoke on television, spoke out on social networks, fought against extremism, terrorism, advocated for the rights of women and children and believed in the best for our country.”
But now, she says, her “former life” was is, and that even before the Taliban took power she had been “warned” to quit her job.
“The Taliban wrote me letters in which they said that I should not work in the police,” she said, “and that I had no right to declare about women's rights.
Now they are in power, she says, there’s no chance that they will will change.
"They will not agree for a woman to work, participate in public life, and be free."
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