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World|politics|September 12, 2022 / 10:22 AM
Human rights groups urge UN for stronger accountability in Afghanistan

AKIPRESS.COM - Human rights groups in an open letter to the UN called for the establishment of a dedicated accountability mechanism by the Human Rights Council (HRC), alongside the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, Tolo News reported.

"The signatory organizations call your attention to the deplorable state of human rights in Afghanistan and in particular the absolute lack of accountability for gross and systematic human rights violations and abuses, including crimes under international law, occurring in Afghanistan, especially against women and girls, ethnic and religious minorities, journalists, and human rights defenders," the letter reads.

Meanwhile, women’s rights activist Farah Mustafavi voiced criticism over the activities of the human rights organizations in Afghanistan.

"The results of the one-year activities of the UN representatives, the human rights representatives and national and international organization for human rights in Afghanistan, have not been satisfactory for the people of Afghanistan," she said.

Richard Bennett is the current UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, and the renewal of his post was called for in the open letter.

"The Western countries will call for the renewal of Richard Bennett. China and Russia will also accept it but the report of Richard Bennett is made from outside Afghanistan. For better transparency, it is better that Richard Bennett stays in Kabul and write the report from Kabul," said political analyst Torek Farhadi.

Amnesty International, in a letter to permanent representatives of member states and observer states of the UN Human Rights Council, asked for a resolution in support of the human rights situation in Afghanistan.

"We are writing to urge you to support a resolution on the human rights situation in Afghanistan. The situation in Afghanistan is extremely worrying as the country faces an increasing tide of crimes under international law, gross violations of human rights, and a worsening humanitarian crisis. The Taliban have systematically violated the rights of women since their capture on August 15, 2021," the letter says.

According to Amnesty International researcher Zaman Sultani, violence against women increased due to the closure of human rights institutions.

"They imposed a school ban on girls over the sixth grade and dismantled institutions such as the Ministry of Women's Affairs (MoWA), the Independent Human Rights Commission of Afghanistan (AIHRC) and other institutions that dealt with women's rights," the letter says.

The letter added that the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is worsening due to cuts in international development assistance and the freezing of Afghan assets. This situation is exacerbated by increasing drought and flash floods due to climate change, the letter adds.

Amnesty International asked the UN to support the Special Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council in investigating cases of human rights violations in Afghanistan.

Kabul has repeatedly denied the reports of the violations of human rights, and called them baseless. The current authorities stressed that they are committed to human rights and women’s rights based on Islamic values.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said at the 50th session of the Human Rights Council that the people of Afghanistan are experiencing "some of the darkest times of a generation."

"The people of Afghanistan are going through some of the darkest times of a generation. After years of conflict and the Taliban takeover last August, the country has plunged into a deep economic, social, humanitarian and human rights crisis," she noted.

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