Afghan authorities urged to address serious human rights challenges |
Special Rapporteur Richard Bennett spoke to journalists at the conclusion of his 11-day visit to the country.
Mr. Bennett speak Afghanistan is facing a multitude of human rights challenges that are having a serious impact on the country’s people. However, the Taliban has not acknowledged or addressed the extent and severity of the abuses, many of which were committed on their behalf.
“The Taliban stands at a fork in the road. Either society will become more stable and a place where all Afghans enjoy freedom and human rights, or it will become more and more restrictive, he said.
“If the criteria are met, such as the urgent opening of secondary schools to girls, the establishment of a comprehensive governing body that truly represents all segments of Afghan society, and a If platforms are provided for dialogue and avenues for resolving grievances, the risk of continued instability and suffering in Afghanistan can be mitigated.”
While in Afghanistan, Mr. Bennett met with Taliban leaders and civil society representatives, including women’s rights defenders, as well as journalists, minorities, victims of human rights abuses, persons with disabilities and members of the judiciary.
Invitation of in fact authorities have allowed UN experts full access to the territory and visits to sensitive sites, such as schools, hospitals and prisons, reflecting what he called an important commitment to ensure that transparent monitoring can be carried out.
The revenge killings continue
Mr. Bennett noted that armed hostilities in many parts of the country had ceased, with a reduction in casualties from the conflict since the Taliban took over last August. He added that the recent establishment of a committee on the return of top Afghan figures could provide an opportunity for dialogue and potentially strengthen governance.
While issuing amnesty to former Government officials and members of the security forces could be a first step towards reconciliation, he was worried about reports of killings. Illegal people and ongoing revenge against former members of the security forces and officials, and door – search the spot.
Addressing the ongoing humanitarian and economic crisis, Mr. Bennett called on the international community to continue to assist Afghanistan and ensure equitable and gender-sensitive aid distribution.
Governments also need to ensure that the implementation of sanctions does not substantially impede the delivery of essential public services.
Mr. Bennett also expressed the warning that many in fact Government policies, and the drive for absolute control, are having a cumulative impact on a wide range of human rights. They are also creating a society ruled by fear.
The growing removal of women from public life is particularly worrisome, he said, citing measures such as the suspension of girls’ lower secondary education, severe barriers to with employment, adopt a strict form of hijab or cover the body and limit freedom of movement, association, and expression.
“I call for in fact Authorities must immediately reverse policies and directives that negatively impact women and prioritize the right of women and girls to participate equally in education, employment and all other aspects of community life,” he said.
© UNICEF / Sayed Bidel
Minority groups are attacked
The human rights expert also called for an investigation into the series of attacks on places of worship and schools in the provinces of Kabul, Kunduz and Balkh, some of which have been claimed by the terrorist group ISIS-K.
Such attacks, particularly targeting members of the Hazara, Shia and Sufi communities, he said, are becoming increasingly systematic in nature and reflect elements of organizational policy, so bear the mark of a crime against humanity.
Recently, Panjshir and other northern provinces have seen clashes between in fact security forces and fighters affiliated with the National Resistance Front, an anti-Taliban group.
Mr. Bennett is concerned about allegations that civilians have violated international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including arbitrary arrest, extrajudicial killings, torture and forced displacement.
The high number of reports of intimidation, harassment, assault, arrest and in some cases killing or disappearance of journalists, prosecutors, judges and members of civil society, he said. fact, is another serious concern.
Role of the UN Rapporteur
Special Rapporteurs like Mr. Bennett monitor and report on country-specific situations or thematic issues all over the world.
These independent experts receive their assignments from the UN Dong Nhan Quyen Association and serve in their personal capacity.
They are not employees of the United Nations, and they are not paid for their work.
Mr. Bennett was appointed in April and will submit his first report to the Council in September.