Amnesty International: Doha meeting must address Taliban’s human rights abuses

A women’s movement in Afghanistan. File photo.

Amnesty International’s Senior Director, Deprose Muchena, emphasizes that the upcoming United Nations meeting in Doha on Afghanistan should signal an end to the impunity for human rights abuses committed by the Taliban.

“The Doha meeting presents a crucial opportunity for unified action to safeguard the rights of all Afghan people, especially women and girls. The Taliban’s grave human rights violations and the prevailing culture of impunity urgently need to be addressed,” Muchena stated.

He criticized the Taliban, as Afghanistan’s de facto authorities, for disregarding the country’s international law obligations by severely restricting freedoms of expression, assembly, and access to justice. Muchena also noted the intensifying discriminatory restrictions on women and girls aimed at removing them from public life.

“The international community must move beyond a ‘business as usual’ approach regarding Afghanistan’s human rights situation. In Doha, the UN Secretary-General, senior officials, and Special Envoys must demand the Taliban to immediately lift all restrictions on women and girls and release those arbitrarily detained,” he urged.

The UN meeting, scheduled for February 18-19, 2024, in Doha, Qatar, will discuss Afghanistan’s situation based on an independent assessment mandated by UN Resolution 2679.

Amnesty International, along with nine other organizations, appealed to the UN Secretary-General on February 7, 2024, to ensure full participation of Afghan civil society, including women human rights defenders, in the Doha meeting, with a focus on women’s rights.

The organization highlighted the increased repression of women and girls in Afghanistan due to strict Taliban-imposed dress codes and other discriminatory practices. The Taliban’s crackdown on dissent through torture, imprisonment, and enforced disappearances against women, girls, activists, and journalists may constitute gender persecution, a crime against humanity.