In light of the recent Taliban take over, Afghan social media users have begun deleting their profiles in fear of retribution attacks.
Though the Taliban has released statements in recent weeks saying it will be more moderate than when it originally rose to power in the late ’90s, citizens are struggling to take them at their word.
Reports of people being killed have been coming out of the country, creating fear as many citizens delete photos and tweets from their profiles.
Speaking to the BBC, a man said:
“They told my relatives that people will not forgive, despite the general amnesty,”. The man went on to say that his name appeared on a list describing people being “shot in the head wherever they are found”.
“I would rather die than live here now,” he said.
Many are worried about the regression to the strict form of Islamic Sharia law that prohibits many freedoms for women.
Practices that are banned under Islamic law can result in stoning, cutting off limbs, and even execution.
In their first press conference, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid stated:
“The issue of women is very important. The Islamic Emirate is committed to the rights of women within the framework of Sharia. Our sisters, our men have the same rights; they will be able to benefit from their rights.”
Although avoiding conflict and subsequent engagement of forces, the international community is watching closely.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated, “We will judge this regime based on the choices it makes and by its actions rather than by its words — on its attitude to terrorism, crime, and narcotics, as well as humanitarian access and the right of girls to receive an education.”
Only a month ago, the popular Afghani comedian Nazar Mohammad, who rose to prominence for his videos criticising the Taliban on TikTok, was shot and killed by the militant group.
Many believe that this is only the start and fear that things will regress to how they were before the US invasion and occupation.
Erasing Afghan women: As the Taliban take over, women are becoming invisible, once again. Social media accounts have been deleted, businesses closed and burqas bought and worn. #Afghanistan #womensrights @anniebanerji @TRF_Stories https://t.co/mofbHzFEkF
— 60 million girls (@60milliongirls) September 1, 2021