Michael McCaul, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in the US Congress, has urged the Biden administration to impose stricter sanctions on Taliban officials as a response to their treatment of women and girls in Afghanistan.
In a letter on Friday to the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, expressed “grave concern” over the Biden administration’s “willful failure to impose visa restriction sanctions on members of the Taliban who are responsible for the abhorrent treatment of Afghan women and girls.”
The Republican congressman said: “Most disturbing, these limited visa restrictions have been the administration’s only response to the Taliban’s horrific treatment of women and girls, despite President Biden’s promise to hold the Taliban accountable.
“In total, only eight members of the Taliban are currently legally barred from entering the United States. This is appalling given that the State Department announced visa restrictions on over 500 Nicaraguan regime officials and their enablers for impeding democracy.”
The House Foreign Affairs Committee is set to begin it’s awaited investigation into the US government’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, with the first testimony hearing scheduled for 8 March.
In his letter, Mr McCaul highlights the situation of women and girls Afghanistan, writing:
Afghan women and girls have been forced to hide away inside their homes, prevented from working, left out of humanitarian aid deliveries, barred from seeking healthcare without a male escort, banned from receiving an education above the 6th grade, tortured, forced to marry, and blocked from leaving the country. Women’s rights defenders in Afghanistan are persecuted, jailed, and murdered by the Taliban.”