Human Rights Still A Long Road For Afghanistan

Human Rights Still A Long Road For Afghanistan

“It is beyond time for all Afghans to be able to live in peace and rebuild their lives after 20 years of armed conflict. Our monitoring reveals that despite the improved security situation since 15 August, the people of Afghanistan, in particular women and girls, are deprived of the full enjoyment of their human rights,” said Markus Potzel, Acting Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Afghanistan. This is what reflects Human Rights’ situation of Today in Afghanistan.

WOMEN

In a report released on July 20, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan stressed that the erosion of women’s rights in the country was one of the most notable aspects of the de facto administration to date. The report mentioned that the decision not to allow girls to return to secondary school means that a generation of girls will not complete their full 12 years of basic education.

At the same time, access to justice for victims of gender-based violence has been limited by the dissolution of dedicated reporting pathways, justice mechanisms and shelters, it said… Pointing out that education and participation of women and girls in public life is fundamental to any modern society, Potzel said “the relegation of women and girls to the home denies Afghanistan the benefit of the significant contributions they have to offer.”

CASUALTIES

Despite an overall, significant reduction in armed violence, between mid-August 2021 and mid-June 2022, UNAMA recorded 2106 civilian casualties (700 killed, 1406 wounded). The report attributed majority of civilian casualties to targeted attacks by the armed group self-identified “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan Province” against ethnic and religious minority communities in places where they go to school, worship and go about their daily lives.

The report also details extrajudicial killings of individuals accused of affiliation with armed groups, as well as cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments and extrajudicial killings of individuals accused of “moral” crimes and the excessive use of force by law enforcement officials. Human rights violations must be investigated by the de facto authorities, perpetrators held accountable, and ultimately, incidents should be prevented from reoccurring in the future.

DE FACTO AUTHORITIES

The report highlights specific concerns with respect to two bodies within the de facto authorities – the de facto Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Amr bil Maruf) and the de facto General Directorate of Intelligence (Istikhbaraf). The UN report stated that many of the directives issued by the de facto Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice limit the human rights and freedoms of Afghans, in particular women and girls. Although such directives are said to be recommendatory in nature, at times members of the de facto authorities have taken a harsh stance on their implementation, including carrying out physical punishments for alleged infringements of their directives. The report also mentions that officials of de facto Istikhbarat have been identified for their particularly severe treatment of people deprived of their liberty.

The UNAMA also details instances where the de facto Istikhbarat was involved in perpetrating human rights violations against individuals in their custody, including extrajudicial killings, torture and ill-treatment, as well as arbitrary arrests and detentions. In the 10 months since they took control of Afghanistan, the de facto authorities have made clear their position on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of expression and freedom of opinion. They have limited dissent by cracking down on protests and curbing media freedoms, including by arbitrarily arresting journalists, protestors and civil society activists and issuing restrictions on media outlets.

UNAMA in the report highlights that at least 59 per cent of the population is now in need of humanitarian assistance – an increase of 6 million people compared with the beginning of 2021. It called on the international community to continue its support for the people of Afghanistan by ensuring that urgent humanitarian and basic needs are met.

KEY FINDINGS FOR THE PERIOD 15 AUGUST 2021 – 15 JUNE 2022
  • 2106 civilian casualties (700 killed, 1406 wounded) predominantly caused by improvised explosive device (TED) attacks attributed to ISIL-KP and unexploded ordnance (Uxo).
  • 160 extrajudicial killings, 178 arbitrary arrests and detentions, 23 instances of incommunicado detention and 56 instances of torture and ill-treatment of former ANDSF and government officials carried out by the de facto authorities.
  • 59 extrajudicial killings, 22 arbitrary arrests and detentions and 7 incidents of torture and ill treatment by the de facto authorities of individuals accused of affiliation with self-identified “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan Province”.
  • 18 extrajudicial killings, 54 instances of torture and ill-treatment and 113 instances of arbitrary arrest and detention and 23 cases of incommunicado detention of individuals accused of affiliation with self-identified “National Resistance Front”.
  • 217 instances of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments carried out by the de facto authorities since 15 August 2021 118 instances of excessive use of force by the de facto authorities between 15 August 2021 and 15 June 2022.
  • Human rights violations affecting173 journalists and media workers; 163 of which were attributed to the de facto authorities. Among these were 122 instances of arbitrary arrest and detention, 58 instances of ill-treatment, 33 instances of threats and intimidation and 12 instances of incommunicado detention.
  • Six journalists were also killed during the period (five by self identified Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan Province, one by unknown perpetrators).
  • Human rights violations affecting 65 human rights defenders, 64 of which were attributed to the de facto authorities. Among these were 47 arbitrary arrests, 17 cases of incommunicado detention, 10 cases of ill-treatment and 17 cases of threats and intimidation.

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