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Friday, July 1, 2022

UN pressures Taliban to lift restrictions on rights

The UN Security Council on Thursday expressed its sympathy to the Afghan people over the aftermath of the deadly earthquake, while continuing to pressure the Taliban authorities to lift restrictions on women and stabilize the country.

“We call on the Taliban to immediately abandon policies and practices that currently restrict the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Afghan women and girls and continue to exacerbate the humanitarian, economic, human rights and social crisis and undermine the goal of sustainable peace and stability in Afghanistan,” he told reporters. Albanian Ambassador Ferit Hoxha on behalf of nine of the 15 council members.

On March 23, the Taliban authorities announced the continued closure of girls’ high schools. According to the UN, 1.1 million girls have been affected.

“In no other country in the world does a government prohibit girls from attending secondary school,” said UN Humanitarian Chief Martin Griffiths, addressing the council members.

Restrictions on movement, work

The edicts also restricted the movement of women without a male relative and sought to specify in what professions they could work. On May 7, the Taliban ordered all women to cover their heads and faces in public places and urged them to stay at home.

“If the Taliban want to normalize their relations with the international community, they must immediately reverse the steps taken to exclude women from social, political and economic life,” Acting US political adviser Trina Saha said.

Not a single country has recognized the authority of the Taliban, who seized power in August after the withdrawal of US and NATO troops from the country.

While the human rights situation has deteriorated, the security situation has become increasingly unpredictable. Initially, the end of the conflict after the Taliban came to power led to a decrease in civilian casualties, but violence is rising again.

FILE – Ramiz Alekbarov, Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in his capacity as Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, speaks at a press conference in Kabul, July 11, 2021.

“We are seeing clashes between the forces of the de facto authorities and the armed political opposition, especially in the provinces of Panjshir and Baghlan, as well as IEDs. [improvised explosive device] attacks and targeted killings against the targets of the de facto authorities, both by the armed political opposition and ISIL-KP [Islamic State-Khorasan]Ramiz Alekperov, UN Resident and Humanitarian Aid Coordinator in Afghanistan, told council members via video link from Kabul.

On Monday, the Taliban’s Security Council sanctions committee extended travel ban exemptions for 13 of the group’s officials, allowing them to travel abroad for potential peace talks.

Activist Yalda Royan told council members they should lift such exceptions for Taliban leaders if there is no progress on women’s rights in the next 60 days.

“If Afghan women can’t move freely, why should the Taliban do it?” she asked.

Problems are on the rise

Wednesday’s deadly earthquake was another blow to the Afghan people. Years of conflict, recurring drought and a severe economic crisis have left more than 24 million Afghans in need of humanitarian assistance, an increase of 6 million since early 2021.

Nearly half of the population – about 19 million people – are food insecure, including 6.6 million people at emergency levels. As the UN seeks to expand aid, it faces a severe funding gap. It has received only one-third of the $4.4 billion needed this year for Afghanistan, despite pledges from donors to increase cash.

“Now is not the time to hesitate,” Griffiths said. “Without intervention, funding, humanitarian aid, basic services, we will have another winter of discontent, a winter of trouble and a winter of pain for the people of Afghanistan.”

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

World Nation News Desk
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