Afghanistan women are treated sub-humanly

The government of Afghanistan is waging a war upon women. The situation is getting so bad that one person in an editorial compared the treatment of women there to the treatment of Jews in pre-Holocaust Poland.
Since the Taliban took power in 1996, women have had to wear burqua and have been beaten and stoned in public for not having the proper attire, even if this means simply not having the mesh covering in front of their eyes.
One woman was beaten to death by an angry mob of fundamentalists for accidentally exposing her arm while she was driving. Another was stoned to death for trying to leave the country with a man that was not a relative. Women are not allowed to work or even go out in public without a male relative; professional women such as professors, translators, doctors, lawyers, artists and writers have been forced from their jobs and stuffed into their homes, so that depression is becoming so widespread that it has reached emergency levels.
Homes where a woman is present must have their windows painted so that she can never be seen by outsiders. They must wear silent shoes so that they are never heard. Women live in fear of their lives for the slightest misbehavior. Because they cannot work, those without male relatives or husbands are either starving to death or begging on the street, even if they hold Ph.D.s. There are almost no medical facilities available for women. And relief workers, in protest, have mostly left the country, taking medicine and psychologists and other things necessary to treat the sky-rocketing level of depression among women.
It is at the point where the term ‘human rights violations’ has become an understatement. Husbands have the power of life and death over their women relatives, especially their wives, but an angry mob has just as much right to stone or beat a woman, often to death, for exposing an inch of flesh or offending them in the slightest way.
Everyone has a right to a tolerable human existence, even if they are women in a Muslim country in a part of the world that Americans do not understand. If we can threaten military force in Kosovo in the name of human rights for the sake of ethnic Albanians, Americans can certainly express peaceful outrage at the oppression, murder and injustice committed against women by the Taliban.
Peter Lund,Disability Services,University of Minnesota
Mr. Lund is active with Amnesty International which meets at the Center For Victims of Torture on the third Sunday of each month.