Milad Hamadi for the Tasnim News Agency, Licensed under CC BY 4.0

UN human rights experts denounce notion of a “reformed” Taliban

United Nations (UN) human rights experts have denounced the notion of a “reformed” Taliban, asserting that the militant group continues to perpetrate egregious violations of human rights in Afghanistan.

In a statement released today, two years after the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan, the experts highlighted a stark contrast between the Taliban’s promises and their actions, citing a widening gap between rhetoric and reality. They emphasized that the Taliban’s policies have led to a systematic erosion of fundamental human rights, including education, employment, freedom of expression, assembly, and association.

The experts criticized the Taliban’s acceleration of gender discrimination, particularly against women and girls. The Taliban’s oppressive policies, which amount to “gender persecution,” have led to discussions about “gender apartheid.”

The UN experts issued a clear message to the Taliban, urging immediate actions to reverse its policies, including reopening schools for all girls, ending arbitrary detentions, and ensuring freedom of expression. They also urged the international community to increase humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and support accountability mechanisms for human rights violations.

The experts said that the dire humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is only getting worse, and that the international community must act now to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe. They emphasized the need for political engagement that prioritizes human rights and gender equality. Bridging the funding gap for humanitarian aid, supporting accountability mechanisms, recognizing gender persecution, and granting refugee status to Afghan women and girls facing rights violations were among the recommendations put forth by the experts.

Ultimately, the statement underscores the urgent need for concerted global efforts to address the ongoing human rights crisis in Afghanistan and pave the way for a more just and equitable future for all Afghan citizens.