afghanistan repression worsens 2 years for taliban
Since assuming power in Afghanistan on August 15, 2021, the Taliban government has increased the severe restrictions it imposes on press freedom and women’s and girls’ rights, according to a statement released today by Human Rights Watch.
Taliban leaders have deprived women and girls of their rights to work, education, movement, and assembly over the past two years. The Taliban have significantly restricted access to information and the media, and they have increased the detention of journalists and other critics.
More than 28 million people, or roughly two-thirds of the population, are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan, making it one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. According to the United Nations, 3.2 million children under the age of five make up the four million people who suffer from severe malnutrition.
According to Fereshta Abbasi, an Afghanistan researcher for Human Rights Watch, “people in Afghanistan are living a humanitarian and human rights nightmare under the Taliban rule.” “The international community must hold the Taliban leadership accountable for the current crises and demand that they immediately abandon their oppressive rules and policies.”
Since the Taliban took power, severe restrictions on women’s and girls’ rights have been one of the main causes of food insecurity, along with decades of war, extreme weather conditions, and widespread unemployment. As a result, many jobs have been lost, particularly because many women have been fired from their positions and are no longer allowed to work for humanitarian organisations, with some exceptions. Girls and women are not allowed to enrol in secondary and higher education.
The Taliban declared a ban on women working for any national or international nongovernmental organisations, including the UN, on December 24, 2022, with the exception of health, nutrition, and education. Because it is impossible to know whether women are receiving aid if they aren’t involved in the distribution and monitoring processes, this has seriously harmed women’s livelihoods. Women and girls, who already have more difficulty accessing food, healthcare, and housing, have been disproportionately harmed by the crisis.
The misogynistic practices of the Taliban, according to Abbasi, “completely disregard the fundamental rights of women.” “Their policies and restrictions harm not only ordinary women trying to live a normal life but also Afghan women who are activists and rights defenders.”
Donor nations must find ways to lessen the ongoing humanitarian crisis without supporting the Taliban’s oppressive practices toward women.
Afghanistan’s access to information has been hampered by the Taliban’s strict controls on local media, which include blocking broadcasts from foreign media outlets. Inside the nation, no one can release sensitive information without fear of arbitrary detention and arrest.
Former security officers and members or supporters of armed resistance groups have been arbitrarily detained, tortured, and executed by the Taliban security forces. Since the Taliban took control, the Islamist militant organization Islamic State of Khorasan Province, an Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State (ISIS), has attacked numerous mosques and schools, primarily targeting the Hazara Shia ethnic group, which receives little in the way of security protection or access to healthcare and other assistance.
Many of the thousands of Afghan refugees who left the country are still in perilous situations in third countries like Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, and Turkey. Governments working in Afghanistan have a duty to make sure Afghans who run the risk of harm or persecutory action have meaningful access to legal and safe pathways. Human Rights Watch advised governments to follow through on their promises and relocate these at-risk groups as soon as possible.
The overwhelming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan has prompted the Taliban to further suppress women’s rights and any dissent, according to Abbasi. Governments negotiating with the Taliban should put pressure on them to swiftly change course and reestablish all Afghans’ fundamental rights while supplying crucial aid to the country’s populace.