Closed-door meeting of UN envoys draws sharp criticism from Afghanistan nationals

Amid a deepening crisis in the country, a cross-sector of Afghanistan’s people have sent an open letter to the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stating their ‘grave concern’ over the lack of Afghanistan representation at the closed-door meeting currently underway in Doha.

The group of 105 signatories stated “the absence of the true representatives of the citizens of Afghanistan in such a forum is of utmost concern, especially since the reported statements of the Under-Secretary General of the UN Amina J. Mohammad, that in this gathering ‘baby steps’ may be taken leading to the recognition of the Taliban terrorist regime. We find such statements irresponsible and a shocking disregard of the despicable policies and practices of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.”

The signatories include representatives of civil society organizations, the media, and independent civil and political figures, who said they, on behalf of the large segments of the population of Afghanistan, are united in our grave concern about the closed door meeting hosted by Guterres.

The clear absence of representatives of the people of Afghanistan at the meeting, which has brought together special envoys of over 20 countries, has resulted in the group calling for the UN to avoid discussing the issue of recognition of the Taliban government and to instead take a hard-line approach to the situation.

“The meeting as we understand aims to ‘clarify expectations’ regarding apprehensions held by the Security Council of the UN and the UN member states about the Taliban’s horrific oppression of the peoples of Afghanistan, especially women, girls and all Afghans who are not members of the Taliban terrorist organization ruling the country,” the letter read.

The group stated that while they have been assured by some countries that Taliban recognition will not be on the agenda of the Doha meeting, any such consideration by the UN would in their opinion be “a clear violation of the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Covenant of Civil and Political Rights and against all the covenants, declarations and documents of the human rights and the citizenship rights of the people of the world and we condemn it explicitly.”

The group appealed to the UN and its member states to not take “baby steps” towards the recognition of the Taliban and called for the UN to instead collaborate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) to hold the Taliban leaders “accountable for their dreadful oppression and violations of the human and civil rights of the peoples of Afghanistan.”

This included the right to education and work for women and girls, the forced removals and seizure of land of indigenous groups in the northern and central parts of Afghanistan, as well as arbitrary detention, torture and persecution of peaceful demonstrators, journalists, university professors and crimes against members of the former security forces.

The group also called for limited interaction with the Taliban. “We believe that millions of people inside, even under the shadow of the Taliban rule, are declaring their hatred for the inhumane policies and practices of the Taliban by crying ‘No to the Taliban’; the Secretary General and member states of the United Nations, must pay serious attention to the call of the peoples of Afghanistan.”

The signatories are as listed below.

  1. Abdul Mujeeb Khalvatgar, Journalist and media activist
  2. Dr. Aziz Barez, former Diplomat & Director of CACASS, UK
  3. Mohammad Nasir Faiq, Afghanistan Permanent Representative to United Nations
  4. Dr. M. Nazif Shahrani, Professor of Anthropology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA
  5. Abdul Rahim Parvani, former diplomat
  6. Sayed Abdullah Ahmadi, Human Rights Defender and Founder of Digital Civil Society Institute
  7. Dr. Habiba Sarabi, former governor
  8. Abdullah Rasuly, Civil Society and Human Rights activist
  9. Adila Ahmadi, former advisor to state ministry of peace/women rights activist
  10. Kawa Aahangar, journalist and media activist
  11. Gulalai Akbari, former senator
  12. Rahim Jami, Director of Education Defenders Network (EDN)
  13. Lima Anwari, women rights defender
  14. Faramarz Baiani, former diplomat
  15. Dr. Abdul Mutaleb Hamed, human rights activist
  16. Nimatullah Elahi, former journalist and media activist
  17. Fahim Farwak, founder of No to Rigor Organization
  18. Mohammad Sabir Fahim, former journalist and media activist
  19. Ali Farhang, human rights activists
  20. Humaira Habib, former director of Sahar Radio station
  21. Fahim Hakim, former Vice President, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission
  22. Shaheer Anil, Human rights activist
  23. Horia Sardarzada, Gender and Afghan Women Studies Group
  24. Makia Monir, journalist and women rights activist
  25. Mir Ahmad Joyenda, human rights activist
  26. Mohammad Ehsan Zia, former country director, United States Institute for Peace, USAIP
  27. Mir Haidar Muahar, Editor in Chief, Arman e Milli Daily
  28. Abdul Wadood Pedram, director of HREOV
  29. Hasmatullah Radfar, journalist and media activist
  30. Aziz Rafiee, President, ACSFO
  31. Najla Raheel, deputy of Afghanistan Independent Bar Association
  32. Khalil Raofi, founder and director of Civil Society and Human Rights Activists Network
  33. Nooria Safi, women rights activist
  34. Sami Sahim, former director, Khurshid TV station
  35. Sanjar Sohail, publisher of Hasht e Subh daily
  36. Humaira Saqib, director of Afghan Women News Agency
  37. Roeina Shahabi, journalist and women rights activist
  38. Mahmoda Sonia Eqbal, former country director, Afghanistan Open Society Foundation
  39. Sediqullah Tawhidi, former advocacy director, Afghanistan Journalists Safety Committee
  40. Professor Sayed Masood, former professor of Kabul University
  41. Zarqa Yaftali, founder of Women Advocacy Committee
  42. Mahbobullah Afkhami, diplomat & human rights activists
  43. Dr. Batoll Haidari, Professor of University
  44. Hoda Khamoosh, writer, founder of the Afghan women justice movement
  45. Madina Darwazi, women rights activist
  46. Dr.Mohammad Afzali, former diplomat human rights defender
  47. Mustafa Mastoor, former minister of economy
  48. Parwana Ibrahimkhail Nijrabi, women rights activists and founder of the women movement for freedom and peace
  49. Tahera Nasiri, human rights defender & protester
  50. Zalmai Nishat, former advisor to Afghanistan CEO
  51. Zainab Homam, CEO – Awesta Charitable Organization
  52. Hamid Zarabi, human rights and media activist
  53. Mawloda Tawana, gender right advocate, human rights defender and protester
  54. Professor Manizha Bakhtari, Afghanistan Ambassador, Austria
  55. Azimullah Worsaji, former diplomat
  56. Ahmad Zia Rahmani, lawyer and Independent Bar Association
  57. Ainuddin Bahadori, human rights activist
  58. Attia Mehrban, women rights defender,
  59. Dr. Bashir Ahmad Ansari, Hanuman rights activist, University Lecturer
  60. Basit Aryanfar, human rights activist
  61. Mehrabudin Mastan, former diplomat
  62. Judge Monira Baharaki, human rights activist
  63. Hamasa Badakhshani, women’s rights activist
  64. Shah Gul Rezaee, former MP
  65. Arash Shahipoor, Assistant professor of law and political Science, University Lecturer
  66. Gulbibi Joya, women rights activist
  67. Arash Barez, artist
  68. Farah Mostafavi, women’s rights activist
  69. Dawood Pezhman, Artist
  70. Abdul Rahim Parwani, human rights activist
  71. Munisa Mubariz, women rights activist and founder Afghanistan main’s powerful women’s movement
  72. Mohammad Iqbql Iqbql, environmental activist
  73. Behishta Shaheen, journalist
  74. Khatera Saleh, Graphic designer
  75. Masooma Esmaelzada, A community health worker at la maestra community health center, Swedish committee for
  76. Zahra Haqparast, Founder of Unity and Solidarity of Afghanistan women
  77. Razia Barakzai , Human Rights Activists
  78. Shamail Tawana Nasiri, the founder of Afghanistan women movement for justice and freedom
  79. Taranom Sayedi, Human/women rights defender, Leader of Afghanistan women political participation network
  80. Sultan Haidari, Journalist and Human rights defender
  81. Zarifa Yaqoubi, Human rights activists and member of the Afghan transformation wave party
  82. Fatima Etimadi, Member of the supervision of the Afghanistan women justice movement
  83. Muzhgan Feraji, Journalist and Human rights activist
  84. Azada, Journalist and Human rights activist
  85. Arifa Fatimi, funder member of spontaneous movement of fighting women of Afghanistan
  86. Zholia Parsi,leadership member of spontaneous movement of protesting women in Afghanistan
  87. Nayera Kohistani, human and women’s right activist
  88. Mir Ahmad Joyenda, Former MP, chairman of FCCS.
  89. Mursal Sayas Human rights Activist.
  90. Arezzo Saleh, women’s right activist.
  91. Sadra Anwary, ACVC, Dushanbe.
  92. Parwana Negin, artist.
  93. Asad Saleh, IT.
  94. Masoma Esmaelzada, community health worker.
  95. Khatera Saleh, Designer.
  96. Aria Nazari, worms rights activist.
  97. Rahmatullah Bijanpoor, writer and human right defenders
  98. Dr. Sahibnazar Muradi, writer.
  99. Tahmina Babak, worms rights activist.
  100. Mohammad Jafar Ahmadi, HR & Civil Civil Society Activist
  101. Abdul Wadood Haziq, Human right Activist.
  102. L Darwazi, women’s right defender
  103. Karim Amin, Journalist and Human rights activist
  104. Mohammad Jafar Ahmadi, HR & Civil Society Activists
  105. Hadi Ghaffari, President of Bamyan Journalists’ Association, Head of Central Asian Television, Oris, Internal Relations
    Committee, International Union of Afghan Pakistan Journalists