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UN demands Taliban respect human rights in Afghanistan

AT News

KABUL – On the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations mission in Afghanistan issued a strong call for the Taliban to uphold human rights obligations. Despite global condemnation, the Taliban, in power since 2021, has been criticized for erasing basic rights and freedoms, particularly affecting women and girls who are now excluded from most public spaces.

The U.N. mission continues to document numerous violations, including extrajudicial killings, torture, ill-treatment, corporal punishment, arbitrary arrest, and detention. Those who speak out in defense of human rights face threats, censorship, and arbitrary detention. Fiona Frazer, representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Afghanistan, expressed solidarity with Afghan human rights defenders, acknowledging the heavy price they pay for upholding the principles of peace, justice, and freedom.

Roza Otunbayeva, the head of the U.N. mission in Afghanistan, stressed the importance of upholding rights for the country’s future prosperity, cohesion, and stability. In response to human rights abuses, the U.S. imposed sanctions on two Taliban officials. Fariduddin Mahmood, responsible for closing education centers and schools to women and girls after the sixth grade, and Khalid Hanafi from the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, targeted for engaging in serious human rights abuses.

The State Department highlighted instances of abductions, whippings, beatings, and assaults on those protesting restrictions on women’s activities, including access to education. The international community continues to press for the Taliban’s adherence to human rights principles in Afghanistan.

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