Afghanistan: Ensure justice, one year after Taliban takeover

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Mohd Rasfan / AFP

Paris, 10 August 2022. To mark one year since the Taliban´s takeover in Afghanistan, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and its member organisation OPEN ASIA Armanshahr reiterate their call on the international community to step up its efforts to ensure an end to serious human rights violations in the country and accountability for the perpetrators.

One year since the Taliban’s seizure of power in Afghanistan on 15 August 2021, there has been no effective action by influential governments, United Nations (UN) bodies, and the International Criminal Court (ICC) to hold the Taliban accountable for its ongoing assault of human rights. Over this past year, the Taliban has severely repressed fundamental rights and freedoms in the country. This repression has directly targeted human rights defenders, journalists, civil society organisations, and minorities. They have also undertaken systematic segregation and oppression of women and girls in Afghanistan.

The international community has failed to ensure accountability despite clear evidence of human rights abuses.

" One year after the Taliban takeover, the Afghan population is deprived of their constitutional rights and is living under a climate of fear, violence, and repression amid an economic and humanitarian crisis. Not only they have been stripped of their fundamental rights but they are also witnessing the total impunity the Taliban enjoys due to international inaction. "

Guissou Jahangiri, OPEN ASIA Armanshahr Executive Director and FIDH Vice-President

On 20 July 2022, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) published a report that found that the Taliban had carried out human rights violations that affected 65 human rights defenders and 173 journalists and media workers, from 15 August 2021 to 15 June 2022. UNAMA received reports of 217 instances of cruel, inhuman, and degrading punishments, and 118 instances of excessive use of force against civilians. Additionally, it documented 160 extrajudicial killings, 178 cases of arbitrary arrests and detentions, and 56 instances of torture and ill-treatment of former government officials. FIDH and OPEN ASIA Armanshahr believe these highly disturbing findings are likely to reflect only a fraction of the human rights violations committed on the ground.

FIDH and OPEN ASIA|Armanshahr call on the international community to act.

The international community must hold the Taliban accountable for its conduct through all available multilateral mechanisms.
 The UN Human Rights Council at its upcoming session in September 2022, should establish an independent investigative mechanism to investigate, collect, and preserve evidence of all violations and abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law in Afghanistan.
 The ICC should immediately resume without delay its investigation into the situation in Afghanistan to investigate and prosecute crimes within its jurisdiction that have been committed in the country.
 The terrible events over the past year have shown that it is crucial for UN member states to establish and effectively exercise universal jurisdiction to hold accountable all perpetrators of crimes committed in Afghanistan.

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