UN report warns of the Taliban’s continued “disastrous” crackdown on dissent

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in a report on Tuesday warned about the heightened restrictions on civic spaces and women’s participation in employment across Afghanistan.

The report, based on interviews with members of civil society, human rights defenders and journalists, says that the Taliban has increased its crackdown on dissenting voices, in particular those who speak out on issues related to the rights of women and girls.

The report says that the Taliban has made it increasingly difficult for civil society organisations to operate, by requiring them to register with the Taliban’s Ministry of Economy and to pay a high registration fee. The report also found that the Taliban has detained and harassed civil society activists and journalists who have spoken out against the Taliban’s restrictions on women and girls.

The report highlights several specific cases of human rights violations, including the detention of women’s rights activist, Parisa Mobariz, and her brother, in Taloqan city on February 11, 2023. Mobariz and her brother were released after several days in detention, but they were warned not to continue their work on behalf of women’s rights.

The report warns that the Taliban’s restrictions on civic space and women’s participation in employment will have “disastrous effects on Afghanistan’s prospects for prosperity, stability, and peace.”

In a separate report, UNAMA details the Taliban’s use of corporal punishments, including executions, stoning and flogging since the group’s return to power in August, the Human Rights Watch has called “barbaric practices”.

The Taliban on Monday rejected UNAMA’s call to end the use of corporal punishments.