Protesters who gathered near Kabul University to demand "equality and justice", have said they were dispersed by Taliban fighters who arrived at the scene in several vehicles.

The Taliban has banned unsanctioned protests and frequently intervenes to forcefully break up rallies demanding rights for women.
The Taliban has banned unsanctioned protests and frequently intervenes to forcefully break up rallies demanding rights for women. (Reuters)

Taliban forces have "fired pepper spray" at a group of women protesters in Afghanistan's capital demanding rights to work and education.

Around 20 women gathered in front of Kabul University on Sunday, chanting "equality and justice". 

They carried banners that read "Women's rights, human rights".

The protest, however, was later dispersed by the Taliban fighters who arrived at the scene in several vehicles, three women protesters told AFP News Agency.

"When we were near Kabul University, three Taliban vehicles came, and fighters from one of the vehicles used pepper spray on us," said a protester, who asked not to be named for security reasons.

"My right eye started to burn. I told one of them 'shame on you', and then he pointed his gun at me."

Two other protesters said that one of the women had to be taken to hospital after the spray caused an allergic reaction to her eyes and face.

An AFP correspondent saw a fighter confiscate a mobile phone of a man who was filming the demonstration.

READ MORE: Can the Taliban 'really' give the Afghan woman her Islamic rights?

Restrictions imposed

Since seizing control of the country in August, the Taliban authorities have imposed restrictions on Afghans, especially on women.

The hardline group have banned unsanctioned protests and frequently intervened to break up rallies demanding rights for women.

The Taliban authorities have blocked women public sector employees from returning to work, many secondary schools have still not reopened for girls, and public universities are shut.

Long-distance trips for women who are not accompanied by a close male relative have been banned.

The authorities have also issued guidelines that prevent television channels from broadcasting serials featuring women actors.

Meanwhile, many women are living in hiding, fearful of a regime notorious for human rights abuses during their first stint in power between 1996-2001, before being ousted by a US-led invasion.

READ MORE: UN rights chief: Taliban breaking promises on women's rights

Source: AFP