Human Rights Watch tells UN session Taliban abuses are a ‘crime against humanity’

Fereshta Abbasi, Afghanistan Researcher at the Human Rights Watch told a UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session that some of the human rights abuses by the Taliban amount to the “crime against humanity of gender persecution.”

Abbasi said in a statement the Taliban has engaged in widespread and systematic violations of the rights of women and girls, including severe restrictions on their rights to freedom of movement, education, and employment, virtually removing them from public life within the past two years.

“Women’s rights protesters have been arbitrarily detained and tortured,” she said.

Abbasi also stated that the Taliban has decimated the media and have been arbitrarily detaining and at times torturing journalists and other critics.

“They have extrajudicially executed LGBT people and former government employees and security force members,” she added.

Referring to the dire humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, she said that the Taliban are responsible for “worsening this situation.”

“Afghanistan has become one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, with two-thirds of the population urgently needing assistance,” she said.

Abbasi urged the UNHRC to take further actions to end the “longstanding impunity” for severe international crimes taking place in Afghanistan.

Abbasi called the work of the Special Rapporteur for Afghan human rights essential, urging the renewal of his mandate.

“The Council should also establish a dedicated independent and impartial mechanism to advance accountability for all international crimes, at all times by all parties, with the necessary resources and resolve shown in other grave situations,” she said.

This situation in Afghanistan came under discussion on Monday, the first day of the 54th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council, which was held in Geneva.

The UN Special Rapporteur for Afghan human rights, Richard Bennett also attended the meeting.