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[HRC54 Oral Statement] Item 2: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan

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54th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council

Item 2: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan

Oral statement delivered by Sara Nabil

On behalf of Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

11 September 2023


Mr. President,

In Afghanistan, history is repeating in the worst manner.

Persecution of women, ethnic and religious minorities under Taliban rule, today, merely for being women or for their identity, resembles the persecution of Jews by the Nazis.

Taliban have time and again proven that they are against women. Their institutionalized misogyny and discrimination can only be described as gender apartheid.

For me, sitting and speaking here about women of Afghanistan is difficult. I remember that 23 years ago, under the first Taliban regime, my mother and all educated women of Afghanistan were banned from their rights and forced to stay home.

Today my sister is forced to follow harsher rules set by Taliban. Systematic erasure of all achievements of the past twenty years, especially the progress in the freedoms and rights of women and ethnic and religious groups, is painful for me as human rights defender.

For two years, we have reported Taliban’s crimes including persecution of women and girls, extra-judicial killings, forced displacement of Hazaras, Tajiks and Uzbeks, public executions, forced marriages, and forced Hijab. It is time to investigate, document, and recognize the crimes Taliban continue to commit.

How long do we wait for you, international community, to determine if the Taliban has changed. You cannot keep hoping that being open to engagement with the Taliban will change them. We, the women of Afghanistan, know that they have not and will not, change.

Taliban rule threatens not only the people of Afghanistan. Their rule risk spreading and motivating violent extremism and radicalization leading to terrorism around the world. Time is now to act to stop the Taliban before it is too late.

Thank you.