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Moscow Court Fines Two Women's Rights Activists For Picketing Afghan Embassy

The two women were detained when they picketed Afghanistan's embassy in Moscow on August 23. (file photo)

MOSCOW -- A court in Moscow has fined two activists for picketing the Afghan Embassy to demand that women's rights be protected in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

On August 25, the Presnensky district court ordered members of the SotsFem Alernativa group, Anna Pavlova and Ksenia Bezdenezhnykh, to each pay a fine of 200,000 rubles ($2,700).

The two women were detained along with four other activists on August 23 when they picketed the embassy in Moscow.

Pavlova and Bezdenezhnykh were then charged with the repetitive violation of public events regulations, while the others were released after being given warnings.

The Taliban now controls almost all of Afghanistan, including the capital, Kabul, after a lightning advance ahead of Washington's planned withdrawal of its troops from the country by the end of August.

During its control of Afghanistan in 1996-2001, the Taliban drastically restricted women's rights, not allowing them to work, study, or leave their homes alone.

After taking Kabul under their control earlier this month, the militants said they will allow girls and women to study and work if they wear hijabs and burqas, but many Afghans don't believe the claims and fear that women's rights will be sharply curtailed once the international spotlight moves away from the country.

With reporting by Mediazona, Novaya Gazeta, and Meduza
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