Taliban Committing Crime Against Humanity of Gender Persecution Against Women, Says HRW

Friday, 09/08/2023

Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a statement on Friday said that Taliban authorities in Afghanistan are committing the crime against humanity of gender persecution against women and girls.

The report by HRW stated that since taking over the country in August 2021, the Taliban have imposed laws and policies intended to deny women and girls throughout the country their fundamental rights because of their gender.

HRW called for coordinated support by concerned governments to bring the Taliban leaders responsible to justice.

The statement mentioned a Human Rights Watch research on Afghanistan since 2021 which has found that the crime against humanity of persecution targeting women and girls has been imposed through various written or announced decrees.

HRW said that these decrees have placed severe restrictions on freedom of movement, expression, and association.

The global rights body added that Taliban has placed prohibitions on virtually all employment; banned secondary and higher education for females; and permitted arbitrary arrests and violations of the right to liberty.

“The Taliban’s cruel and methodical denial of the basic rights of women and girls to remove them from public life has received global attention,” said Elizabeth Evenson, international justice director at Human Rights Watch.

It urged Taliban authorities to dismantle all forms of repression and discrimination that deny women and girls their fundamental rights.

The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) defines crimes against humanity as a range of prohibited acts committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population, with knowledge of the attack.

Human Rights Watch’s research has found that the Taliban’s treatment of women and girls meets the four requirements for crimes against humanity as set out under the Rome Statute: (1) that the attack is “widespread or systematic”; (2) that the attack is directed against a “civilian population”; (3) that the acts are committed “with knowledge of the attack”; and (4) that the acts are “pursuant to or in furtherance of a State or organizational policy to commit such attack.”

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