FIROZKOH, AFGHANISTAN –
The Taliban murdered an 8-month pregnant police officer in front of her family on Saturday night, according to her son. Her sister identified the victim as Negar ‘Banu’ Masoomi, said that her face was heavily mutilated due to the Taliban’s assault.
Afghan media, Tolo News Network said that Massomi worked at the Ghor prison and was in her last trimester of pregnancy. Her death sparks outrage, as growing concerns about the repression of women under the Taliban’s extreme rule.
Video obtained by CNN showed Masoomi’s son, Mohammed Hanif, giving his account of the murder. Hanif said the Taliban broke into his family’s home then took him and his brothers outside and tied them up.
Because she was pregnant, Hanif said, “The Taliban committed two murders and urged the government to take action to find and prosecute the perpetrators.” Hanif warned that if nothing is done, “We may have to take the law into our own hands.”
A Taliban spokesman, Bilal Kareemi, denied the allegations, stating “She was not killed by the Mujahedeen of the Islamic Emirate and it is most likely due to personal animosity.” Kareemi added that “we haven’t received the final result of the investigation.”
Taliban leaders have insisted publicly that women will play a prominent role in society; however Afghan women are already opting to remain indoors as fears mount over their safety. Tolo News said the sale of full-length burqas is at an all-time high, as families are concerned about female relatives’ safety.
Over the weekend, women in Kabul and Herat staged protests that erupted in chaos as protestors were smothered in tear gas. In the Afghan capital of Kabul, violence continued as Taliban forces prevented women from marching into the presidential palace.