UN warns of escalating human rights, rule of law crisis in Afghanistan
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UN warns of escalating human rights, rule of law crisis in Afghanistan

UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan Richard Bennet Monday issued a special report indicating the country is experiencing a deepening human rights crisis. Bennet’s report focused on changes which have occurred in the country since the Taliban took power in August 2021.

Bennett cited the severe restriction on the rights of women and girls, attacks on minorities and the clampdown on the media as some of the most pressing concerns. Speaking specifically about the regression of the rights of women, Bennett wrote “In no other country have women and girls so rapidly disappeared from all spheres of public life. Despite this, women and girls remain at the forefront of efforts to maintain human rights and continue to call for accountability.”

Bennett’s report also notes how ethnic minority communities in Afghanistan are plagued by enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests, and extra judicial killings. “[Minority] places of worship, educational and medical centres have been systematically attacked. They [ethnic minorities] have been arbitrarily arrested, tortured, summarily executed, evicted, marginalised and in some cases forced to flee the country, raising questions of international crimes that warrant further investigation,” Bennett wrote.

However, accountability is difficult to find, as Bennett warned that the country’s judicial system has been dismantled. Bennett discussed a series of recommendations which could be acted upon by the international community to improve the human rights situation in Afghanistan. Among these was a restoration of judicial independence, protection for women and girls and an abolishment of practices discriminating against ethnic minorities.