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UNSC expresses ‘deep concern’ over the erosion of rights and freedom in Afghanistan

Recent reports showed how inspectors from the Taliban’s moral policing ministry had now intensified patrolling around public spaces like malls, bazaars, and other places, enforcing their socially conservative codes.

May 25, 2022
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The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has expressed deep concern over the increasing erosion of respect for human rights and freedom of women and girls in Afghanistan and has called on the Taliban, the country’s de facto rulers, to swiftly reverse their policies. The council also voiced concern over continued terror attacks.

This statement on Tuesday came after the Taliban issued a series of orders asking women and female journalists to cover their faces with the burqa, curtailing their freedom and diminishing the rights for women. 

Releasing a statement on Tuesday night, the Council also expressed deep concern about recent decrees issued by the Taliban regime which order women to a mandatory covering of faces in public, the volatile security situation, and the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the country. 

In the statement, the Security Council called on the Taliban to swiftly reverse the policies and practices which are currently restricting the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Afghan women and girls. The Council also reiterated its demand to the Taliban to adhere to their commitments to reopen schools for all female students without further delay.

Since coming to power in August last year, the ultra conservative group has imposed several restrictions, including ban education for secondary level girls, and barring women from driving and traveling without male relatives.

In the initial months in power, the group was slow in enforcing these restrictions, focussing mainly on tightening their grip on power across the country and attempting to gain legitimacy from the international community.

Large-scale crackdowns, including detentions and arrests of rights activists, in the months following their return to power, have helped the group rein in scattered democratic, peaceful protests in the different parts of the country. 

However, with over eight months in power and no recognition in sight, the Taliban now seems increasingly dominated by ultra conservative factions within it, as several appeals from relatively moderate clerics, including those associated with the group, in favor of girls' education went unheeded.

Recent reports showed how inspectors from the Taliban’s moral policing ministry had now intensified patrolling around public spaces like malls, bazaars, and other places, enforcing their socially conservative codes. (SAM)

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