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Escalation of Human Rights Violations in Afghanistan: EU Condemns Taliban’s ‘Barbaric and Discriminatory’ Rulings

By Amin Kawa

March 19, 2024

Credits @FFHR.CZ

The issue of widespread human rights violations by the Taliban in Afghanistan has become a significant focus in major Western policymaking and legislative institutions, particularly the European Union (EU). Recently, the European Parliament passed a resolution calling for the halt of public executions and immediate cessation of implementing “barbaric and discriminatory” judgments, particularly targeting women, the LGBTQ+ community, and ethnic and religious minorities. This resolution comes amid reports that the Taliban have publicly executed 450 individuals over the past two and a half years and have shown no indication of willingness to comply with international demands regarding their rulings.

Last Thursday, the European Parliament expressed deep concerns over human rights in Afghanistan by issuing a resolution, highlighting “a climate of repression,” including public executions and “barbaric” punishments, and violence against women. The resolution, passed with 513 in favor, 9 against, and 24 abstentions, calls for the abolition of the death penalty and immediate suspension of the Taliban’s discriminatory rulings against women.

In this resolution, the Taliban are urged to cease public executions and the implementation of “barbaric and discriminatory” rulings, especially against women, the LGBTQ+ community, and ethnic and religious minorities. The European Parliament has stated its support for Afghan civil society’s request for investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and holding the Taliban accountable. The resolution notes the Afghan civil society’s demand, stating, “They support the civil society’s request for accountability of the Taliban in Afghanistan for their crimes through investigations by the International Criminal Court by establishing an independent UN mechanism with EU support.”

The European Parliament demands that the Taliban immediately halt the persecution of women based on gender and sexual apartheid and restore full rights and participation of women and girls in social life, including education and work.

Members of the European Parliament emphasized that any interaction with the Taliban regime should only occur under precise conditions set by the Council of Europe based on the recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights. European Parliament members, expressing concern over the intensification of the humanitarian crisis and human rights violations in Afghanistan, stated that the Taliban have dismantled the judicial system and effectively excluded women and girls from public life.

Meanwhile, Karen Melchior, a member of the European Parliament, stated in a speech at the organization’s headquarters in Brussels that if Europe participates in normalizing gender apartheid in Afghanistan, history will not forgive them.

Meanwhile, Nasir Ahmad Andisha, Afghanistan’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, has called for a coordinated international response to the issue of gender apartheid in Afghanistan, supported by a statement endorsed by 40 countries. In the statement, Mr. Andisha stated that “the promises of the Taliban, including those regarding human rights, have not been fulfilled, and the Taliban’s actions and decrees, due to their extensive and restrictive nature, could amount to gender apartheid.”

The European Union Parliament has expressed concerns over the human rights situation and discriminatory policies of the Taliban in Afghanistan, as the Taliban have continued to impose “inhumane” punishments on the country’s citizens without any concessions to the demands of the people of Afghanistan and the global community.

Just two days ago, the Taliban publicly executed an individual on charges of theft in the “Chahar Raah-e Gulha” area in the fifth district of Herat city. This group had previously murdered two young “footballers” on charges of abduction in Charekar City, Parwan province.

This comes as the Taliban, following their return to power in Afghanistan, have flogged and held public trials for over 450 individuals. Abdul Rahim Rashid, head of the Taliban’s media and foreign relations department, stated that rulings for over 450 individuals have been issued, and these sentences have been executed publicly.

Previously, the Taliban Supreme Court had announced that two individuals in Ghazni province, after being sentenced to death by Mullah Hibatullah, were shot dead in the central square of Ghazni City in the presence of hundreds of people, with “five bullets” fired; an action described by legal experts as “unjust” and in contradiction with human rights values.

Earlier, Richard Bennett, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, stated: “Women and girls are being excluded from public life, peaceful dissent is not tolerated, violence and intimidation are used to control and instill fear in the population.”

The European Union Parliament has expressed concerns over the human rights situation in Afghanistan by issuing a resolution, as human rights bodies of the United Nations have documented widespread human rights violations by the Taliban through numerous reports. The quarterly reports of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) have provided detailed accounts of the behavior of this group towards women, former military personnel, and ethnic groups.

In the latest move, the United Nations Security Council has extended the mandate of UNAMA for another year. The Council has also requested the Secretary-General of the United Nations to report every three months to the Security Council on the situation in Afghanistan and the implementation of UNAMA’s mandate.

The majority of member countries of the United Nations Security Council, while approving Resolution 2727 (2024) extending the mandate of UNAMA, have called for addressing the increasing humanitarian needs in Afghanistan, especially for women and girls. Council members, noting the upcoming start of the new academic year in Afghanistan, stated that 1.4 million girls are still deprived of education beyond the sixth grade. Some Security Council members have stated that women and girls in Afghanistan endure systematic oppression and injustice. They emphasized, “We should never get accustomed to this. The international community is at a critical juncture regarding the reintegration of Afghanistan into the global community. The needs and aspirations of the people of this country should be our primary concern.”

Meanwhile, for months, dozens of women’s protest movements have demanded recognition of gender apartheid in Afghanistan under Taliban rule by launching online campaigns. Some protesting women and girls in various cities in Germany have initiated these campaigns.

Under the Taliban’s discriminatory policies, women and girls in Afghanistan are currently denied education beyond the sixth grade, as well as the right to study, work, dress according to their preferences, and enjoy freedom of movement, among other personal and civil liberties. Consequently, there has been a rise in forced, underage, and child marriages across the country.



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