Conflicts & War

Amnesty says gender violence survivors facing neglect in Afghanistan

Kabul, Dec 6 (EFE).- Rights watchdog Amnesty International Monday said the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan had decimated essential services for women and girl survivors of gender-based violence in the country that is struggling with a possible economic collapse.

The rights group published 26 new interviews of survivors and service providers.

They told the group that the Taliban closed shelters and released detainees from prison, including many convicted of gender-based violence offenses.

“Many survivors – as well as shelter staff, lawyers, judges, government officials, and others involved in protective services – are now at risk of violence and death,” Amnesty International said.

Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary-General, said women and girl survivors of gender-based violence were abandoned and their network of support dismantled.

“Their places of refuge have all but disappeared,” said Callamard.

“It defies belief that the Taliban threw open prison doors across the country, with no thought of the risks that convicted perpetrators pose to the women and girls they victimized, and to those who worked on survivors’ behalf.”

Amnesty said the Taliban must allow and support the reopening of shelters and restoration of other protective services for survivors, reinstate the ministry of women’s affairs, and ensure that service providers can work freely and without fear of retaliation.

The watchdog called on the international community to provide immediate and long-term funding for protective services, evacuate survivors, and service providers facing imminent danger.

It urged the Taliban to uphold their obligations to women and girls, particularly those who survived or were at the risk of gender-based violence.

The Amnesty said Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen told the nonprofit on Nob.26 and 29 via telephone that there was no place for violence against women and girls.

Shaheen said the Taliban government would refer women facing domestic violence to the courts.

The courts would hear their cases and address grievances, the nonprofit recalled.

The United Nations said Afghanistan had one of the highest rates of violence against women.

Nine out of 10 women have experienced at least one form of violence in their lifetime in the country. EFE


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