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Taliban have imposed curbs on rights: HRW

Taliban have imposed curbs on rights: HRW

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Jul 01, 2020 - 10:56

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): A global group has blamed the Afghan Talibaninfo-icon for imposing severe restrictions on human rights in areas under their control despite claims of reform.

A new report from Human Rights Watch (HRW) quoted residents as reporting their inability to criticise or question Taliban actions, violations of the rights of womeninfo-icon and girls.

People in Taliban-controlled areas spoke of severe limits on freedom of expression and the media, according to the HRW report, which was released on Tuesday.

“Rights abuses by both Taliban and government forces mean that the US and other countries supporting the peace process should ensure that any agreement has strong human rights commitments and enforcement mechanisms.”

The 69-page report focuses on the everyday experiences of people living in Taliban-held districts and militants-imposed restrictions on educationinfo-icon, access to information and media and freedom of movement.

The New York-based watchdog said Taliban’s widespread rights abuses fuelled concerns about their willingness and ability to hnour commitments on rights in any future peace agreement.

Patricia Gossman, associate Asia director at HRW, said: “The Taliban appear intent on ruling by fear, without holding themselves accountable to communities under their control.”

“While there has been progress on access to education for girls and women in Taliban-held areas, there has been little regard for rights to freedom of expression, information, association, privacy or media freedom.”

Although the Taliban officially state that they no longer oppose girls’ education, the report says, very few local rebel authorities actually permit girls to attend school past puberty.

Residents of Taliban-held districts complained that the militants did not allow them to air grievances or express concerns. The Taliban insisted they held commanders and other authorities accountable for abuses.

But in practice, HRW alleged, the Taliban seldom considered practices amounting to war crimes, including unlawful attacks that have killed civilians, to be wrongful acts.

Expected intra-Afghan negotiations should address concerns about protections of fundamental human rights, including the rights of women and girls, the watchdog demanded.

“Government forces have committed serious human rights abuses, including torture, and have often failed to protect women’s rights. Both the Taliban and current and former government leaders have been implicated in war crimes and other abuses. There is near total impunity for serious violations,” the report said.

pr/mud

 

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