UN: Taliban Must Embrace Human Rights 12/10 09:24
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- The Taliban must embrace and uphold human rights
obligations in Afghanistan, the U.N. mission in the country said Sunday on
Human Rights Day and the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human
Since seizing power in 2021, the Taliban have erased basic rights and
freedoms, with women and girls deeply affected. They are excluded from most
public spaces and daily life, and the restrictions have sparked global
The U.N. mission, highlighting the Taliban's failures in upholding rights'
obligations, said it continues to document extrajudicial killings, torture and
ill-treatment, corporal punishment, arbitrary arrest and detention, and other
violations of detainees' rights.
People who speak out in defense of human rights face arbitrary arrest and
detention, threats and censorship, the mission said.
"We pay tribute to and express our solidarity with Afghan human rights
defenders, many of whom are paying a heavy price for seeking to uphold the
fundamental tenets of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: peace, justice
and freedom," said Fiona Frazer, representative of the UN High Commissioner for
Human Rights in Afghanistan.
The head of the U.N. mission in Afghanistan, Roza Otunbayeva, said rights
must be upheld to ensure the country's future prosperity, cohesion and
The U.S. on Friday hit two Taliban officials with sanctions over human
rights abuses in Afghanistan. Fariduddin Mahmood made decisions to close
education centers and schools to women and girls after the sixth grade, said
the State Department. He supported education-related bans on women and girls.
The second target of the U.S. sanctions is Khalid Hanafi, from the Ministry
for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.
"Since August 2021, members of the MPVPV have engaged in serious human
rights abuse, including abductions, whippings, and beatings," said the State
Department. "Members of the MPVPV have assaulted people protesting the
restrictions on women's activity, including access to education."
The Taliban condemned the sanctions. Their chief spokesman, Zabihullah
Mujahid, said imposing pressure and restrictions were not the solution to any
problem. He accused the U.S. of being the biggest violator of human rights
because of its support for Israel.
"It is unjustified and illogical to accuse other people of violating human
rights and then ban them," said Mujahid.
The restrictions on women and girls are the biggest obstacle to the Taliban
gaining official recognition as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.