New US restrictions against Taliban for bans on women

WASHINGTON (AFP): US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced new visa restrictions against the Taliban Wednesday in response to bans on employment and education for women in Afghanistan.

“I am taking action today to impose additional visa restrictions on certain current or former Taliban members, members of non-state security groups, and other individuals believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, repressing women and girls in Afghanistan,” Blinken said in a statement.

Blinked said the repressive actions included “the Taliban’s decision to ban women from universities and from working with NGOs. “

Since their return to power in August 2021, the Taliban have imposed severe restrictions on Afghan women, banning them from holding public jobs, attending secondary schools and universities, or from going to parks.

At the end of December, they banned NGOs from working with Afghan women, leading several organizations to suspend their activities.

Blinken added that Washington will continue to work in coordination with allied countries to make “clear to the Taliban that their actions will carry significant costs and close the path to improved relations with the international community.”