Saturday, September 18, 2021

There are credible reports of Taliban executions — UN rights boss

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Top UN human rights official Michelle Bachelet said on Tuesday that she had received credible reports of serious violations committed by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Bachele said the violations included summary execution of civilians and restrictions on women and on protests against Taliban rule.

The rights official gave no details of executions in her speech to the Human Rights Council but urged the Geneva forum to set up a mechanism to closely monitor Taliban actions.

The Taliban treatment of women would be “a fundamental red line”, she said.

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“There are grave fears for women, for journalists, and for the new generation of civil society leaders who have emerged in the past years,” Bachelet told the forum’s emergency session, held at the request of Pakistan and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

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“Afghanistan’s diverse ethnic and religious minorities are also at risk of violence and repression, given previous patterns of serious violations under Taliban rule and reports of killings and targeted attacks in recent months,” she said.

A senior Afghan diplomat from the deposed government, Nasir Ahmad Andisha, called for accountability for Taliban actions, describing an “uncertain and dire” situation where millions of people fear for their lives.

Independent U.N. human rights experts, in a joint statement, said that many people were in hiding fearing reprisals as “the Taliban continues to search homes door-to-door”.

`Searches, arrests, harassment, and intimidation, as well as seizures of property and reprisals, are already being reported,” they said.

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The council will consider a draft resolution, submitted by Pakistan on behalf of the OIC, that voices concern at reports of violations.

But it does not mention the Taliban by name, nor would it set up a fact-finding mission to probe them.

Instead, it calls on Bachelet to report back to the forum at its March 2022 session and urges all parties to respect human rights law including “the full and meaningful participation of women” and of minorities.

“We were hoping for a stronger text, it is extremely minimalist and we are disappointed,” a Western diplomat told Reuters as heated negotiations continued on the text.

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Reuters/NAN

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