Taliban threatens women voters

Published on Apr 21, 2004 04:16 PM IST

Women are specifically under threat by the Taliban insurgents and risk losing their lives if they attempt to take part in elections.

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PTI | ByAgence France-Presse, Kabul

Taliban insurgents have threatened to kill Afghans if they vote in September elections, an intelligence official said Tuesday.

The threats were carried in pamphlets distributed in Logar province, close to the capital Kabul, the official said on condition of anonymity. "We advise all Afghans not to risk their lives for attending the elections," the pamphlets warned, according to the official.

"Women especially will face the death penalty if they try to take part in the elections. Husbands are responsible for the blood of their wives if they fail to stop them voting in elections."

Remnants of the hardline regime, ousted in late 2001 by US-led forces for harbouring Al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden and his followers, have threatened to disrupt the elections.

Afghans are scheduled to vote in September for a president and a parliament.

Taliban loyalists have been killing aid workers, government officials and troops in a campaign of destabilisation for more than a year. They are furious at their sidelining from the current administration.

Their attacks have forced the polls to be delayed from June because south and southeastern Afghanistan has become too dangerous for officials to enter and register voters.

The Taliban imposed an ultra-orthodox brand of Islam over Afghanistan during their 1996-2001 rule and forbade women from working, studying and going out in public.

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