Guterres and Blinken discuss Afghanistan

Guterres and Blinken discuss Taliban’s ‘continued repression’ on Afghan people

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres have discussed the Taliban’s abuses of human rights and the group’s continued repression of the Afghan people, the US Department of State said in a statement on Friday.

“They also spoke of the humanitarian needs of the Afghan people in the face of the Taliban’s continued repression and human rights abuses,” the statement said, adding that the two sides also talked about the war in Ukraine, providing humanitarian support for the country, and as well the deadly earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria.

Since its return to power, the Taliban has widely violated human rights and repressed Afghans, particularly its political opponents and the women in Afghanistan.

After returning to power in August 2021, the group implemented a ban on girls attending secondary schools in September of the same year. In December 2022, the Taliban expanded its restrictions, prohibiting Afghan women and girls from accessing university education and from working for NGOs.

The US Special Envoy for Women in Afghanistan, Rina Amiri, has said that the group has issued 80 decrees to restrict women and girls’ rights in Afghanistan since its return to power.

In its latest ban on the women, the Taliban postponed Exit Exam – a compulsory exam that certifies the work of medical graduates in Afghanistan – for female medical students indefinitely while male applicants have already taken the test and have their results out.