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UN Special Rapporteur Voices Concerns on Afghan Women’s Exlusion From Society

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KABUL: The UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, voiced concerns over the “exclusion” of Afghan women from society and also expressed skepticism about a move toward inclusive governance.

Bennett made the remarks in an interview with the VOA and said that ot may take a while, and also said the international community was responsible for leaving Afghans in this position. 

In an interview with Voice of America (VOA) following his visit to Afghanistan, Bennett, expressed concerns about the deteriorating human rights situation and the international community’s lack of attention to the situation of the Afghan people.

Afghanistan is facing a serious human rights crisis, he said. Every time we hear about human and governance crises, given the current situation, the UN Human Rights Council may decide to take a new approach to human rights in Afghanistan. 

Discrimination against women, deprivation of their basic rights and the ongoing effort to exclude women from Afghan society, I think, is a long way from establishing an inclusive government in Afghanistan and it may take a long time, he said.

Criticizing the international community’s approach to the Afghan people, the UN official noted that the international community has left the Afghan people in their current condition.

In a meeting with some officials and political figures of the former government in Turkey, Richard Bennett spoke about the restrictions on his visit to Panjshir, Takhar and other provinces of Afghanistan due to security concerns.Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch called on the Islamic Emirate to respect the rights of girls and women in order to gain global legitimacy.

“I think that the Taliban were very angry to have been isolated in the way that they were from 1996 to 2001, they did not like being a pariah state that was recognized by almost no other countries and they want very much to avoid that this time, they seem very upset about things,” said Heather Barr, associate women’s rights director at Human Rights Watch (HRW).“

The Human Rights Commission’s hope is that the UN Special Rapporteur will investigate and report on all human rights abuses committed by the Taliban in Panjshir and other provinces,” said Mohammad Naeem Nazari, head of the Afghan Human Rights Commission.

“Human rights have been violated in Panjshir and the UN Special Rapporteur was supposed to travel to Panjshir to investigate these cases, but he said security issues prevented him from traveling, although he said he was interested in documenting human rights violations in Afghanistan,” said Mohammad Alam Izdiar, the former first deputy Speaker of the Senate in the former government.

In response to the concerns of the international community about women’s rights, the Islamic Emirate has always emphasized that it is committed to the rights of women and girls based on Islamic values. 

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