Photo: Amnesty International

International human rights groups call on the Taliban to end human rights abuses

A group of human rights groups has called on the Taliban to end its crackdown on dissent and release all those arbitrarily detained solely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association.

The group, “Alliance for Human Rights in Afghanistan” which includes Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the World Organisation Against Torture, said in a statement on Wednesday that the Taliban’s crackdown has increased in scope and scale since the group took control of Afghanistan in August 2021.

“The Taliban have repeatedly conducted raids on the offices of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), arrested dozens of human rights defenders, arbitrarily detained peaceful protesters, subjected them to torture and other ill-treatment, banned women working in national and international NGOs as well as proceeded to shut down scores of media outlets,” the statement said.

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“In the absence of a clear legal framework and functioning judiciary, those impacted are left with no means to defend their rights.”

The groups called on the Taliban to immediately and unconditionally release all those arbitrarily detained, disclose the whereabouts of detainees, and guarantee that those arrested and detained are protected from torture and other ill-treatment.

They also called on the Taliban to ensure that all those detained are treated in line with the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.