February 8, 2013 - 15:28 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - An Afghan provincial women's affairs official has applied for political asylum in Finland after visiting the country, RIA Novosti reported citing Afghan media outlets.
Fariba Majid, women's affairs director in the northern Afghan province of Balkh, went to Finland for a training course about a month ago, but then disappeared, Balkh provincial governor’s spokesman Munir Farhad said.
It later emerged she had asked Finland for asylum on the grounds threats had been made to her life in Afghanistan, a claim that was dismissed by Farhad.
“No-one in government service is experiencing security problems,” Farhad told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Zabiullah Mojahed, press spokesman for the radical Islamist Taliban movement, which has previously been responsible for attacks on female political figures in the country, claims many people hoping to leave war-torn Afghanistan are concocting stories of threats against them by the Taliban in order to convince foreign states to grant them asylum.
The Taliban maintain a rigid adherence to hard-line Islamist values, and continue to attack those promoting women's rights in Afghanistan, including attacks on schools teaching girls. In October 2012, they attacked women on the streets in the eastern Afghan city of Ghazni, injuring several, according to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).