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Afghan ambassador holds ground in Vienna despite regime change

AT News

KABUL – In the face of Taliban dominance, Afghan Ambassador to Austria emerges as a steadfast critic, refusing to vacate her post and urging the West to rally against escalating atrocities.

Following the Taliban’s assumption of power in August 2021, Ambassador Manizha Bakhtaripersisted as the voice of the former Afghan government. Opting for resilience, Bakhtari and her team resolved to uphold the representation of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan from their base in Vienna, defying the Taliban’s rebranded regime as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

For over two years, Bakhtari has remained resolute, operating with a skeleton staff from her modest Viennese office. Amidst assisting Afghan diaspora and attending international forums, she vehemently advocates for Afghan women’s rights, denouncing the Taliban’s regressive measures.

Bakhtari condemns the Taliban’s systematic erosion of women’s freedoms, citing intensified restrictions on education, movement, and employment. Instances of arbitrary arrests and the resurgence of child marriages underscore a dire human rights crisis, exacerbating mental health challenges and driving alarming rates of suicide among Afghan youth.

Drawing attention to the plight of Afghan women, Bakhtari urges global intervention, emphasizing the urgent need to address gender apartheid as a critical component of international discourse on human rights violations in Afghanistan.

Her impassioned plea for justice echoes dissatisfaction with current international responses, deeming the exclusion of Afghan women from discussions on the nation’s future as an act of violence. Rejecting notions of enduring peace under Taliban rule, Bakhtari underscores the imperative of justice and equality for all Afghan citizens, especially women.

In challenging narratives of Taliban reform, Bakhtari cautions against overlooking the generational setbacks endured by Afghan women, emphasizing the arduous task of rebuilding a society ravaged by decades of conflict and oppression.

Ambassador Bakhtari’s unwavering defiance stands as a beacon of resistance, calling upon the world to confront the harrowing reality faced by Afghan women and unite in solidarity against tyranny and injustice.

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