Oral statement on the human rights situations in Afghanistan and Kashmir

27/09/2021
Statement

FIDH – International Federation for Human Rights

UN Human Rights Council – 48th Session

Item 4 – General debate

27 September 2021

Oral statement on the human rights situations in Afghanistan and Kashmir

Madam President,

FIDH is deeply troubled by the human rights crisis in Afghanistan and the lack of a robust response by the international community. Although the Special Session held on 24 August provided an important opportunity for the Human Rights Council to take concrete measures to investigate and monitor violations in Afghanistan, it failed to live up to the occasion.

Since 15 August, the actions of the Taliban have proven that it has no intention of respecting human rights. The gains made over the past 20 years with regards to women’s rights and freedom of expression and assembly risk being completely erased. The Taliban has already enforced gender segregation in schools, prohibited many women from going to work, attacked journalists, and banned protests. Reports have emerged of summary executions of former government officials and civil servants.

Equally disturbing are recent developments in Kashmir, where the death of Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani triggered a new wave of serious human rights violations by Indian government authorities, including severe restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, movement, and assembly, and harassment of journalists.

While this curbs have been progressively lifted, the overall human rights situation remains grim. People in Kashmir can be subjected to arbitrary, unnecessary, and disproportionate restrictions on their rights at any time amid a rampant abuse of repressive anti-terrorism legislation and a total lack of accountability by the authorities.

The Council must take immediate action to address these situations by establishing independent investigative mechanisms to monitor human rights violations and promote accountability in Afghanistan and Kashmir.

Thank you.

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