MADRID, August 11 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) pointed out this Thursday that since taking power a year ago, the Taliban have broken many promises to respect human rights and women’s rights.
Since the Taliban took Kabul on August 15, 2021, they have severely restricted the rights of women and girls, suppressed the media and arbitrarily arrested, tortured and summarily executed critics and opponents, the organization said.
“Human rights abuses by the Taliban have been widely condemned and have threatened international efforts to address the country’s dire humanitarian situation,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement.
According to the NGO, the negative development of the economy has meant that more than 90 percent of Afghans are in an insecure situation, which leaves millions of children suffering from acute malnutrition and threatens serious long-term health problems.
“The Afghan people are living through a human rights nightmare, victims of both Taliban cruelty and international apathy,” said HRW Afghanistan researcher Fereshta Abbasi.
“Afghanistan’s future will remain bleak unless foreign governments cooperate more actively with the Taliban authorities and press them vigorously on their rights record,” he added.
The organization has argued in the brief that since the Taliban took power, they have imposed rules that comprehensively prevent women and girls from exercising “their most basic rights” to freedom of expression, movement and education, while interfering with “their other fundamental rights” in life , food, health care, food and water.
They have also banned women from traveling or going to work without being accompanied by a male family member, a requirement “impossible for almost all families”. The Taliban have also denied almost all girls access to secondary school.
“The Taliban’s horrific human rights record and their unwillingness to engage meaningfully with international financial institutions have compounded their isolation,” HRW said, urging foreign governments to ease restrictions on the country’s banking sector.
The organization wants to enable legitimate economic activity and humanitarian aid, but the Taliban must also reduce the number of violations and hold those responsible accountable, according to the NGO.
“The Taliban should urgently reverse their horrific and misogynist decision to ban girls and women from secondary school,” Abbasi said, saying it would send a message that the Taliban are ready to reconsider their most heinous acts.
In general, the vast majority of Afghans have reportedly suffered from some form of food insecurity since last August, skipping meals or eating entire days and resorting to extreme coping mechanisms to pay for food, including sending children to work.
The impact of the economic crisis on women and girls is also “particularly severe” as it is becoming increasingly difficult for women and girls to access care and healthcare.
The humanitarian situation could get worse if the UN and other aid agencies don’t significantly step up their operations in 2022, HRW said.
“After a year in power, the Taliban leaders should acknowledge the disaster they have created and reverse the course of the right before more Afghans suffer and more lives are lost,” Abbasi added.