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Afghanistan: AIHRC Chairperson's statement to Human Rights Council

Graphic: Shaharzad Akbar

Shaharzad Akbar, Chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), prepared a statement to the UN Human Rights Council.

Madame President, Your Excellencies,

The human rights situation in Afghanistan has gone from difficult to devastating in the past few months. Afghans are now facing unprecedented, at least in the past 20 years, levels of hunger and starvation. The dire humanitarian situation is contributing to the human rights crisis. 

Afghanistan is currently the only country in the world where there are restriction on girls’ secondary education. Women’s public presence and movement is being severely restricted by the Taliban, with restrictions on women’s independent movement, women’s entry to public and government institutions, severe restrictions on women’s participation in media, the banning of women from sports and entertainment and more. 

There are horrific reports of summary executions, illegal detention and torture, harassment and intimidation of former members of security forces, former government employees and civil society and human rights activists. There is no freedom of expression & journalists are routinely harassed & intimidated. 

Shaharzad Akbar, Chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, prepared a statement to the UN Human Rights Council, December 2021. 

I call on you to work with your governments for delivery of humanitarian aid to Afghans, creative mechanisms to relieve the financial pressure and continuously holding Taliban to account for systematic and continued violation of human rights of Afghans, particularly the rights of women and girls and minorities. 

Afghanistan’s human rights crisis is a test to the global solidary for human rights as well as the strength and effectiveness of this council. 

Thank you. 

Shaharzad Akbar, Chairperson, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission

Prepared statement to the Human Rights Council following the oral update by Deputy High Commissioner on Afghanistan

December 2021