On the occasion of International Human Rights Day, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said that the brutal violation of women’s rights has been one of the most prominent “aspects” of the Taliban government to date.
UNAMA on December 10 published a statement that says women and girls in Afghanistan are gradually being restricted and in many cases deprived of their rights to participate in education, the workplace and other aspects of public and daily life.
UNAMA has said that the United Nations in Afghanistan calls upon the current de facto authorities of Afghanistan to live up to commitments embedded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a landmark document codifying everyone’s fundamental rights and freedoms.
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, and those who assume to govern have an immense responsibility as duty-bearers to each and every man, woman and child,” said Roza Otunbayeva, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan.
“The UN urges the de facto authorities to reverse the slew of edicts and practices they have introduced that restrict the basic rights of Afghans, especially those of women and girls”, the statement further reads.
The statement by UNAMA also says that the Taliban have taken some actions that are apparently aimed at protecting and promoting human rights. These include amnesty for former government officials and security force members, a decree on women’s rights and a code of conduct for prisoners, as well as the creation of a special commission to deal with complaints about violations of media freedom.
Despite these cases, according to UNAMA, the Taliban have limited dissent by suppressing protests and curbing media freedoms, including arbitrarily arresting journalists, protesters, and civil society activists.
According to UNAMA, Zarifa Yaqoubi and four other women’s rights activists have been held in detention by the Taliban for more than a month.
UNAMA further added that the Taliban seem to be increasing the use of corporal punishment such as flogging and publicly lashing.
UNAMA stated that the public execution by the Taliban constitutes a form of “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.
Reacting to the public execution of a man by the Taliban in the western Farah province, the UNAME said that the United Nations “strongly opposes the death penalty under any circumstances”. Via a tweet on Wednesday, December 07, UNAMA called on the de facto Taliban authorities in Afghanistan “to establish an immediate moratorium with a view to abolishing the death penalty”.
The public execution carried out by the Taliban under Qisas punishment – retaliation in kind – and attended by top leaders of the group in the western Farah province has drawn worldwide reactions. The United Nations, Amnesty International, the United States, the UK, and France have all condemned this public execution.