Taliban militants in Kabul, Afghanistan beat a woman with a belt on the street as a crowd watched, witnesses said on January 16. A fighter from the militia said the woman was being punished for violating a strict Islamic dress code by leaving her ankles uncovered. Other women have been beaten publicly since September 27 when the Taliban took over the Afghan capital and decreed that women must cover themselves from head to toe in an expensive, restrictive garment called a burqa. The Taliban has also forbid women and girls from attending school and working. During the Ramadan holiday, restrictions are tighter. Women are allowed to leave their homes to attend a funeral, visit patients in hospitals, or to buy food, but are not to “go out of their houses without a legal excuse,” according to a document prepared for the Department for Promoting Virtue and Suppressing Vice.
Media Resources: The Nando Net and Reuters - January 16, 1997