UN extends mandate of its special rapporteur for Afghanistan

The United Nations extended the mandate of Richard Bennett as its special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan for another 12 months.

Mr. Bennett is also expected to include in his mandate a focus on children’s rights and the obligation to record and preserve information about abuses and violations of human rights, UNHRC said in a statement on Friday.

The statement added that Bennett and the working group on discrimination against women and girls are also expected to submit a report on the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan.

A vote of 29 in favor, 15 abstentions, and 3 against, China, Venezuela, and Pakistan, resulted in the adoption of the UNHRC resolution on the state of human rights in Afghanistan.

China and Pakistan voted against the resolution. China’s representative maintained that the Taliban administration should be allowed to perform its duties.

Bennett began his mission in March last year to monitor and record women’s rights and ethnic minorities in Afghanistan, now under Taliban rule.

Analysts said that considering the human rights situation in Afghanistan and violations in this respect, the UN had extended the mandate of its offices in the country.

“Handing more responsibility to the UN office means that the monitoring of human rights situation and children’s situation will be increased,” said Shafiqullah Shafiq, an analyst in political affairs. “On the other hand, the UN has taken responsibility for collecting information about the human rights situation in Afghanistan because Afghanistan has witnessed war crimes and genocide over the past year.”

Another analyst said that Pakistan and China have voted against the resolution because they are violators of human rights in their own countries and are torturing religious and ethnic minorities there.

“It causes shame for Islamabad and Beijing because both countries have violated human rights,” said Ahmad Suhail, an analyst.

This comes as UN office in Afghanistan sent two teams to Panjshir last week to monitor the human rights situation and probe alleged human rights violations there.

Taliban is accused of torture, arresting and killing civilians in Panjshir, Baghlan, Sar-e-Pul, Kandahar and other provinces. Taliban is also accused of killing captives during clashes in Panjshir.

Taliban has rejected the findings of the UN and other organizations’ reports on human rights violations in Panjshir and other provinces.