Amnesty: Doha Meeting Must End Taliban’ Impunity for Rights Abuse     

VANCOUVER, CANADA – Ahead of the upcoming UN-convened meeting of Special Envoys on Afghanistan in Doha, Qatar, Amnesty International says that impunity for human rights abuse under the Taliban must end.

Deprose Muchena, Senior Director at Amnesty International said that the meeting presents a vital opportunity for unified efforts to safeguard the rights of all Afghan people, particularly women and girls, by addressing the prevalent culture of impunity enabling the Taliban’s severe abuses.

“Having severely restricted the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, and access to justice in the country, the Taliban’s discriminatory restrictions on the rights of women and girls, with the apparent aim of completely erasing them from public arenas, has also intensified in the recent months.”

The UN Secretary General Antonio Guteress is set to host nealry a dozen of special envoys for Afghanistan in Doha coming Sunday to discuss the humanitarian and human rights crises in Afghanistan.

The second of its kind, the meeting will also have in attendance representatives of Afghanistan civil society and media.

The Taliban, however, despite repeated requests from the UN and other stakeholders, have not yet confirmed their participation. The group had said earlier that their attendance will be conditional on the acceptances of their reservation on structure and participants.

The Taliban are not alone in having reservations about the meeting. As the United States and its allies push for the appointment of a UN Special Envoy, China and Russia have made their support of any initiative conditional on the buy-in from the Taliban authorities.

Rights activists say the UN and the broader international community’s cajoling to the Taliban has only further emboldened the group to violate human rights and restrict women’s and minorities’ freedom.

Muchena emphasized that the international community must break away from a ‘business as usual’ approach concerning Afghanistan’s dire human rights situation.

A joint report by the UN Women, UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) shows that an absolute majority of women in Afghanistan (67%) believe that any prospect of Taliban’s recognition will adversely affect their situation in the country.