US-Europe Group Expresses Concern About Human Rights Violations, Terrorism In Afghanistan

9/23/2022

In a joint statement, the special envoys and representatives for Afghanistan of US and Europe expressed grave concerns with the continued undermining of human rights and fundamental freedoms of Afghans.

The statement denounced violations of international humanitarian law and abuses of rights protected under international human rights treaties and conventions to which Afghanistan is a State Party, including abuses of the rights of members of ethnic and religious minority groups or other marginalized groups.

The special representatives and envoys also condemned, in particular, abuses of the rights of Afghan women and girls throughout the country, including restrictions on freedom of movement, as well as their exclusion from political, economic, educational and social spaces.

While denouncing increasing restrictions on freedom of opinion and expression, notably through media repression, including of female reporters, the statement also condemned the detentions of both Afghan and foreign journalists.

They stressed on the urgency in continuing to address the grave humanitarian crisis in the country, including through steps to prepare the Afghan population for the upcoming winter.

Apart from this, the statement also expressed grave concern about the continued presence and operations of terrorists and terrorist groups in Afghanistan, including al-Qaeda and other groups with a stated aim to target countries in the region and beyond; and specifically condemned the recent presence of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Afghanistan and emphasized that Zawahiri’s presence in Kabul was a clear example of the Taliban’s failure to meet their counter-terrorism commitments.

The special representatives and envoys of the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States met in Washington D.C. on September 15, 2022, to discuss the situation in Afghanistan. Other officials from Japan, Qatar, Switzerland and UNAMA also participated in the meeting as observers, which included technical sessions with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

They urged the Taliban to take sustained and verifiable steps, consistent with their commitments and applicable international law, including international humanitarian law, against all terrorist groups and activity occurring in Afghanistan.

The statement also emphasised that enduring peace and stability in Afghanistan requires a credible and inclusive national dialogue leading to a constitutional order with a representative political system.

It also emphasised on the need for the Afghan central bank to (1) demonstrate its independence from political influence and interference; (2) demonstrate it has instituted adequate anti-money laundering and countering-the-financing-of-terrorism (AML/CFT) controls; and (3) complete a third-party needs assessment and onboard a reputable third-party monitor in order to solve the economic crisis of Afghanistan.

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