Human rights report accuses Taliban of several rights violations ranging from limits on press freedom to restrictions on women.

A Taliban fighter watches as Afghan women hold placards during a demonstration demanding better rights for women in front of the former Ministry of Women Affairs in Kabul on September 19, 2021.
A Taliban fighter watches as Afghan women hold placards during a demonstration demanding better rights for women in front of the former Ministry of Women Affairs in Kabul on September 19, 2021. (AFP)

Amnesty International and other rights groups have said that the Taliban are steadily dismantling the human rights gains of the last twenty years. 

A new report published by Amnesty International, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) details a litany of human rights abuses by Taliban including targeted killings of civilians and surrendered soldiers and the blockading of humanitarian supplies in the Panjshir Valley, which constitute crimes under international law.

The briefing also documented that restrictions have been reimposed on women, freedom of expression and civil society.

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Dinushika Dissanayake, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for South Asia said: “In just over five weeks since assuming control of Afghanistan, the Taliban have clearly demonstrated that they are not serious about protecting or respecting human rights. We have already seen a wave of violations, from reprisal attacks and restrictions on women, to crackdowns on protests, the media and civil society.” 

“Given the prevailing climate of fear, lack of mobile connectivity in many areas, and internet blackouts enforced by the Taliban, these findings are likely to represent just a snapshot of what’s happening on the ground," she added.

The UN Human Rights Council must establish a robust, independent mechanism with a mandate to document, collect and preserve evidence of ongoing crimes under international law and other serious human rights violations and abuses across Afghanistan, she stressed.

Climate of fear

The report mentioned the worsening climate of fear for human rights defenders on a near-daily basis since August 15. The Taliban are conducting door-to-door searches for human rights defenders, forcing many into hiding.

On persecution of journalists, Amnesty International said that they spoke to two Kabul-based female journalists who shared the threats and intimidation they faced following the Taliban takeover.  

The rights organisation has also documented that some protests were violently repressed by the Taliban. 

Juliette Rousselot, FIDH’s Programme Officer for South Asia said “The international community must not turn a blind eye to the violations being committed by the Taliban. Taking concrete action at the UN Human Rights Council will not only send the message that impunity will not be tolerated, but also contribute to preventing violations on a broader scale.” 

Rousselot added, “This should go hand in hand with support for the ongoing investigation at the International Criminal Court, in order to secure accountability for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by all parties.”

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Source: TRT World