UN Afghanistan investigation reports human rights violations by Taliban’s ‘moral oversight’ – JURIST – News – JURIST

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A report detailing significant human rights violations caused by the Taliban’s “moral oversight” on Wednesday was released by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

Enclosed within the report was a comprehensive review of policy settings implemented by the de facto Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (MPVPV) which the UNAMA found to have negatively affected the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Afghans.

According to the report, encroachments on human rights under the de facto leadership were disproportionately felt by women. Women’s rights to sexual and reproductive health and work were restricted, with women restricted access to contraception and the arbitrary closure of female-run businesses restricting women’s right to work.

Both the certainty and enforcement of policies issued by the MPVPV were brought into question:

The ambiguities and inconsistencies surrounding the instructions issued, the unpredictability, severity and disproportionality of punishments associated with non-compliance, and restrictive measures to regulate activities of individuals in the private sphere all contribute to a climate of fear and intimidation among segments of people living in Afghanistan.

The report also noted that the MPVPV seemingly attempted to increase the discipline of ministry personnel. However, these efforts were hindered by the current lack of accountability of its staff.

This report is the latest in a series of written reviews undertaken by the UN to monitor the state of human rights under Taliban governance, which gained control of Afghanistan in August 2021. Previous inquiries have covered rights abuses directed against detainees, violence against women and girls and violations against former government and armed forces members.

The UNAMA, through resolutions that established and extended its mandate, is responsible for furnishing humanitarian support in Afghanistan, ensuring economic stability, addressing gender-based discrimination and advancing human rights. Reviews of the UNAMA’s mandate occur annually and have continually stressed “the important role that the [UN] will continue to play in promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan.”

Relatedly, on June 30, two days of UN-organized talks on the situation in Afghanistan began in Doha, Qatar, marking the first time the Taliban was present. Human rights activists expressed anger and concern over the decision to exclude women from the meeting. Earlier in the week, a coalition of human rights NGOs, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, urged the UN in an open letter to take concrete steps to ensure that women and girls of Afghanistan are not overlooked. They called for women’s rights to be a permanent agenda item in all future discussions, guaranteed enjoyment of full human rights for Afghan women and girls, the opportunity for women to fully participate in public life and the inclusion of women activists focused on civil and human rights in the Doha dialogues.

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