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Russians Fined for Protest in Support of Afghan Women

In the past, the Taliban had prevented girls and women from attending school and working jobs, and required them to be accompanied by a male chaperone. TASS / ZUMA Press Wire

Russia has fined two activists for organizing a demonstration in support of Afghan women who face an uncertain future after the Taliban returned to power in the country, a court said Friday.

The two activists, Artemy Pityukov and Ksenia Bezdenezhnykh, were fined 200,000 rubles ($2,670) each for "violating public order," a spokeswoman for the Presnensky district court in Moscow told AFP.

The activists took part in a small-scale demonstration on Monday outside Afghanistan's embassy in Moscow.

They took turns holding up posters in a "solitary picket" line, one of the last forms of protest in Russia that do not need official authorization.

Six activists were detained, according to independent monitor OVD-Info. 

Another "solitary picket" took place in Russia's second city St. Petersburg but without arrests.

"Being a woman in Afghanistan is now deadly dangerous," read one of the posters, according to images shared on social media. 

Moscow has been cautiously optimistic about the new government in Kabul after the Taliban swept to power in Afghanistan in a military takeover earlier this month. 

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said last week that the militant group — known for its severe treatment of women — "is ready to take into account" women's rights.

In the past, the Taliban had prevented girls and women from attending school and working jobs, and required them to be accompanied by a male chaperone.

They faced corporal punishment or even execution for violating the Taliban's laws. 

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