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Prominent women’s rights activist Julia Parsi arrested in Kabul, sparking outrage

 Julia Parsi, a prominent women’s rights activist, was arrested in Kabul on Wednesday. Her detention has triggered significant public outrage. Julia had previously stayed out of school during the initial Taliban rule. She was apprehended for her advocacy work nearly 23 years later during the second phase of their rule, facing charges related to her activism.

Born in Takhar province, Julia spent many years teaching Persian language and literature in schools in her province. She continued this mission in Kabul until the fall of Kabul on August 15, 2021. Following this incident, the schools she taught at were closed. This situation was intolerable for Julia, and her advocacy began from this point.

In the months following the rise of the Taliban to power, Julia’s name became well-known as a courageous female protester. Images of her alongside other girls were circulated, showing them standing empty-handed in the streets of Kabul, confronting armed Taliban forces and chanting slogans of freedom. While her fellow protesters in Balkh were disappearing or being killed, and fear and terror were palpable everywhere, she appeared in the media. She spoke about women’s rights to education and work.

In an interview with “Nimrokh” magazine in February 2022, Julia stated, “If the schools are not reopened, if universities are not opened for girls, our plans will be broader and more robust. We have no fear of anyone, even if we are killed.

We must secure the rights of the girls of this land, their freedom, education, and work.”

One of the female protesters in Kabul told Khaama Press News Agency that Julia’s arrest had terrified all the protesters. She said, “Julia was a symbol of courage, and her absence is unimaginable for the female protesters.” The news of Julia Parsi’s arrest has shocked female protesters in Afghanistan and disbelieved women’s rights activists outside of Afghanistan.

Yalda Ravan, a women’s rights activist, reacted to the news of Julia Parsi’s arrest, saying, “I am numb. Julia knew the risks and predicted the Taliban’s retaliation for her protests. However, even in moments of despair, she never backed down.”

Julia, a pioneer of women’s protests, was ultimately arrested on Wednesday, September 27, along with her son in the Fathullah Square in Kabul. The Taliban administration has not provided any information about her arrest to date.