The U.S. State Department harshly condemned the Taliban's abuse of women in its 1998 human rights report, which was issued on Friday.
The report described how the Taliban has issued harsher and harsher decrees limiting the rights of women since it overtook Afghanistan's capital city, Kabul, in September 1996. Under the Taliban's decrees, Afghan women are not allowed to work, to attend school, or to even leave their homes without a close male relative as a chaperone. These decrees apply even to the country's plentiful war widows, who have no male relatives to support them or serve as their chaperones.
The State Department also condemned the Taliban's brutal punishments, which include amputations for theft and stoning to death for adultery and rape. The report also cited the Taliban's harassment of international aid workers, the murder of an Italian aid worker last August, and the Taliban's brutal massacre at Mazar-i-Sharif.
Media Resources: Voice of America - February 27, 1999
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