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

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55th 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 Hafizullah Saeedi

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

29 February 2024


Mr. President,

Special Rapporteur, we commend your important work, particularly your consistent engagement with Afghanistan’s civil society and human rights defenders.

Over the past two and half years of the Taliban’s illegitimate rule, they have proven that they are no different than they were 20 years ago. They have demonstrated callous disregard for human rights and incapacity to address the deepening humanitarian and economic crisis.

Women and girls remain completely shut out from the society under the Taliban’s system of gender apartheid depriving them of education, and freedom of movement, speech or even to choose their own clothing.

A generation of children and young people remain in limbo with no access to adequate food, education, healthcare, or employment, leaving them extremely vulnerable to extremism.

Minority communities, notably Hazaras and religious minorities, face increased violence and discrimination that bear hallmarks of international crimes including genocide.

Civil society remains shutdown. Any form of dissent risks imprisonment, torture, disappearance or execution.

Rule of law does not exist in Afghanistan.

Yet, many in the international community, driven only by self-interest, are moving towards normalizing the Taliban rule with no regard for rights, freedoms and demands of the people of Afghanistan. This will only prolong the vicious cycles of violence and impunity.

Yes, the world cannot completely disengage from Afghanistan, but Afghanistan is not only the Taliban. Any effort to resolve the crisis must center the people of Afghanistan and ensure genuine participation of women, all ethnic and religious communities and civil society.

The Council on its part can play a crucial role in ending the cycles of violence by setting up an international accountability mechanism that can pave the way for accountability and justice for crimes by all parties to decades long conflicts in the country.

Thank you.