Coalition Calls for Human Rights to be at Center of UN Afghanistan Assessment


IRVINE, Calif. (April 25, 2023) — A coalition of civil society organizations and individuals today, initiated by the Afghanistan Human Rights Project at the University of California, Irvine School of Law (UCI Law) Director Hashmat Nadirpor with Director of the International Justice Clinic David Kaye, called on the United Nations (UN) Secretary General and High Commissioner for Human Rights to put human rights at the center of the independent assessment requested by the Security Council Resolution 2679.

In a letter to Secretary General Antonio Guterres and High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk, 40 organizations and individuals emphasize that the United Nations must take advantage of Resolution 2679 to acknowledge and prioritize the several and converging human rights crises that have engulfed Afghanistan since the Taliban seized control on August 15, 2021.

“The current prospects for Afghanistan are deeply troubling from many perspectives, including those of political, humanitarian, and human rights, and the UN Secretary General assessment for the purpose of finding solutions to help address these challenges is a huge step forward,” Nadirpor said. “However, any efforts towards bringing peace and political stability would be imperfect without prioritizing the protection of fundamental human rights for all Afghans without discrimination of any kind.”

The letter notes that the consultations requested by Resolution 2679 should involve not only the participation of media experts and members of civil society who are researching human rights in Afghanistan, but also detailed input from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council, particularly the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, victims of Taliban abuses, and the previous officials of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.

“The Taliban’s inhuman policies especially towards women should not be accepted,” said Dr. Sima Samar, former Chair of Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. “The UN Security Council should put every possible pressure on the Taliban, including reminding them that they are committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, and that they would be held accountable for their acts.”

The letter urges that the consultation must also stress the significance of transitional justice, the voices of the victims, reparations for the victims, and accountability for the committers of international crimes and human rights violations, including but not limited to gender-based persecution, violence and gender apartheid.

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