Taliban Tasers and turns hoses on Afghan women protesting beauty salon ban

ITV News' Emma Murphy reports on the latest from Afghanistan, where the Taliban regime continues to curb women's rights

Dozens of Afghan women have been Tasered and hosed down while protesting the Taliban's ban on beauty salons.

The Taliban said earlier this month they were giving all salons in Afghanistan one month to wind down their businesses and close shop, drawing concern from across the globe about the impact on female entrepreneurs.

Leaders said they are outlawing salons allegedly because they offer services forbidden by Islam and cause economic hardship for grooms’ families during wedding festivities.

The ruling came from the Taliban chief Hibatullah Akhundzada - the latest curb on the rights and freedoms of Afghan women and girls, following laws barring them from education, public spaces and most forms of employment.

And in a rare sign of public opposition to Taliban orders, dozens of beauticians and makeup artists gathered in the capital of Kabul to protest the ban.

"We are here for justice," said one protester who identified herself as Farzana.

"We want work, food and freedom."

The Taliban sprayed the women with water and shot their rifles into the air to disperse the gathering.

Farzana later said the women were going to the UN mission in Afghanistan, urging protesters to stay together.

The ban has been met with outrage from women already impacted by the curb on women's rights. Credit: AP

One protester told The Associated Press the demonstration started at around 10am in the Shar-e-Naw area of the capital.

She did not want to give her name for fear of reprisals.

"The purpose of our demonstration was that they (the Taliban) should reconsider and reverse the decision to close beauty salons because this is about our lives," she said.

"All of us, 50 to 60 women, participated. Our slogan was work, bread and freedom."

The protest continued into the early afternoon, when the Taliban arrived to break up the crowd, she said, adding that they used Tasers on the demonstrators.

“They put two or three of our friends in the car and took them," she said.

The United Nations mission in Afghanistan, known as UNAMA, criticised the Taliban use of force in dispersing the protesters.

"Reports of the forceful suppression of a peaceful protest by women against the ban on beauty salons - the latest denial of women’s rights in #Afghanistan - are deeply concerning,” the UN mission said in a tweet.

"Afghans have the right to express views free from violence.

"De facto authorities must uphold this."

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