Activists to UN: Invitation of Taliban to Doha meeting ignores will of people

KABUL, Afghanistan — Dozens of activists and members of Afghanistan’s civil society have issued an open letter to the United Nations, asserting that the Taliban’s invitation to the Doha meeting disregards the will of the Afghan people.

“The Taliban is a terrorist group, it is criminal, and lacks any legal legitimacy. Over the past three decades, it has seized political power through military violence, spreading fear and terror,” the letter stated.

The activists argue that the Taliban does not represent the true fabric of Afghan society and lacks legitimacy within the country.

The letter calls on the international community to shift its focus from negotiating with the Taliban to engaging directly with the people of Afghanistan.

Signed by 20 civil institutions and organizations, as well as thousands of female protesters, independent human rights activists, academics, writers, artists, and Afghan citizens worldwide, the letter will be sent to all international human rights institutions, countries, and prominent global figures.

The activists and civil rights organizations also urge recognition of “gender apartheid” in Afghanistan, accusing the Taliban of systematically pursuing genocide by denying and suppressing other religions and sects.

The letter recommends international sanctions against the Taliban, maintaining its leaders on terrorist watchlists, and criticizes the travel of Taliban leaders to various countries, warning that it could facilitate the expansion of global terrorism.

The UN is hosting a meeting of special envoys on Afghanistan today, with the Taliban delegation in attendance—a development that has sparked strong reactions among Afghan civil rights activists.