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[HRC56 Oral Statement] Item 2: Enhanced Interactive Dialogue on the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan

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56th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council

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


Oral statement delivered by Mursal Sayas

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

18 June 2024


Mr. President,

I am an optimistic woman. But what is happening beyond this room, with more countries willing to normalize relations and engage with the Taliban while our people continue to suffer under its brutality does not give us a lot of reasons for optimism.

Half of the population of the country – more than 21 million women in Afghanistan – have been completely erased from society. No words come close to describing the level of repression against women other than gender apartheid.

No one is safe under this regime. Children are being forcibly recruited by the Taliban for sexual and military purposes.

As we gather here to examine the Taliban’s brutal actions, in Doha and elsewhere, governments are negotiating with the Taliban to get access to the country, and to our natural resources, which are being auctioned off to fund its regime.

Afghan women are not just slogans for your statements. We are not just bargaining chips in a global game of power and political and economic deals.

As a mother who had to leave my three-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son for fear of persecution as a result of my human rights work, as someone who has been forcibly separated from my children, and as a victim and survivor of the Taliban regime, I seek justice.

Many of you in this room, who bear some degree of responsibility for our current situation, also have the responsibility to make sure we get the justice we deserve.

Thank you.