Afghanistan: Taliban torturing women and 'will never respect' rights, says woman stranded in Kabul

'We have eyewitnesses in some provinces who have seen the Taliban torturing women,' an Afghan woman who fled her hometown in fear of the militants told ITV News the insurgents are not following the more moderate values they promised the world they would.

An Afghan woman who fled her home to escape the Taliban has told ITV News there are already eyewitness testimonies of the insurgents torturing women in the country.

The woman, who we've chosen not to identify for her safety, said the Taliban will "never respect or give value to women's rights".

"We have eyewitnesses in some provinces who have seen them torturing women," she told us.

She fled her hometown of Mazar-i-Sharif for Kabul, before the insurgents took the capital city and regained control of all of Afghanistan.

Now the 24-year-old has lost her job and is working for a women's aid organisation.

She described the streets of Kabul as empty - with women and girls too scared to set foot outside for fear of retributions.

Her words come as the UK's top military chief told ITV News the Taliban must be "given a chance" to govern and may do so "in a less repressive, more reasonable, and more inclusive way".

'The streets are empty, there are no women and girls'

However, this is at odds with reports coming out of Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, a man from Manchester who is stranded in Afghanistan told ITV News the Taliban had executed people in his street.

The woman ITV News spoke to said that in Afghanistan, women "cannot walk on the street anymore.

"We're scared of wearing some clothes and walking on the street, because we fear the Taliban might look at us and torture us because we're wearing something different.

"We have to wear the burqa. The streets are empty and there are no women and girls in Kabul."

She told ITV News it was like the country had "started from zero" once more.

The US and UK's withdrawal from Afghanistan has been sharply criticised in light of the Taliban's successes in reclaiming the country in just a few weeks.

ITV News Senior International Correspondent John Irvine is in Kabul, where Afghans desperate to escape are waiting at the gates of abandoned embassies

The UK has agreed to take 20,000 refugees, who may be in danger as a result of the Taliban takeover. But many more remain stuck in Afghanistan - unable to leave and those who can come to Britain will do so over a five-year period.

"I want the UN and the rest of the world to help us in this moment," the woman told ITV News.

"I feel really, really sad for this situation. I'm living like an immigrant in my hometown, in my country. We should live freely."

She described an Afghanistan of 20-years-ago returned in just a few short weeks.

"We cannot work outside, we cannot join university, I don't know what the future of Afghanistan is, and the future of women in Afghanistan."