Barr Calls for Travel Ban on Taliban

Heather Barr Calls For Travel Ban On Additional Taliban Leaders

Associate Director of the Women’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch (HRW), Heather Barr, calls for including additional Taliban leaders in the sanction list of the United Nations Security Council. In addition to calling for sanctions, Barr has called for a travel ban, most recently at the EU Parliament’s Foreign Committee meeting held on Tuesday.

Addressing the Committee’s meeting on Afghanistan, she added that no member of the Taliban should be exempted from the travel ban. “The Security Council should be working to add additional Taliban leaders to the list of those subjected to targeted sanctions based on their capability for rights abuses,” Barr stated.

These sanctions should also include the group’s religious leader, Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, who made the “final decision” to keep the girls secondary schools closed.

It has been more than a year since the ruling Taliban has closed secondary schools to girls in Afghanistan. The ruling Taliban seems to have internal differences when it comes to women’s rights to education and work.

These differences have been made public several times as some of the group’s officials have publicly called for opening girls’ schools but some others have spoken against it and have effectively banned it.

Complaining about the international response to the Taliban’s misogynist actions, Barr describes it as “entirely inadequate” at the Committee’s meeting of the EU Parliament. “The situation in Afghanistan urgently calls out for a new fully-staffed and fully-resourced UN-mandated accountability mechanism.”

Moreover, the HRW’s women’s division co-director called on the EU Parliament to get more urgent attention for Afghanistan’s economy to function. She also asked the donor countries to support women’s rights defenders, particularly through small grants mechanisms, and other countries to follow Germany-led resettlement program for Afghans at risk.