Oral statement on the human rights situation in Afghanistan

24/08/2021
Statement

UN Human Rights Council – 31st special session

Oral statement on the human rights situation in Afghanistan

Madam President,

FIDH is deeply troubled by recent developments in Afghanistan and the subdued response by the international community. If not properly addressed, the ongoing crisis will certainly have disastrous impacts for Afghanistan, the region, and beyond.

Some are willing to give the Taliban the benefit of the doubt. This is a recipe for disaster. In fact, the Taliban and affiliated forces are under investigation by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed since 2003.

Reports from the ground from the past several days should set off alarm bells. In the days following the Taliban’s takeover, peaceful protests in several provinces were violently repressed. House-to-house searches for opponents and their family members have been reported in some locations. Women are reluctant to leave their homes.

Given the Taliban’s abysmal human rights record and the precarious situation in the country, human rights defenders, journalists, and members of civil society - including women and children - are particularly vulnerable and at risk. They must be protected and, if they wish to do so, allowed to seek safety abroad.

We urge all parties to uphold the rule of law and restore the constitutional order in accordance with Afghanistan’s existing laws, and to respect, protect, and fulfill all civil, political, social, economic, and cultural rights, in accordance with the international treaties to which Afghanistan is a state party.

Finally, we urge the Human Rights Council to create a gender sensitive independent investigative mechanism to collect and preserve evidence of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law committed since the beginning of 2020, with a view to advancing accountability.

Thank you.

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