Rights need to be seen from cultural standpoint in Afghanistan: Taliban

Kabul, May 18 (EFE).- Taliban government representatives asked the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan to look at the rights situation in the country keeping in mind the local culture in the Islamic country.

Richard Bennett, on his first official visit to Afghanistan, during which he spoke with the Taliban authorities about the issue of rights amid widespread criticism of their discriminatory policies concerning women.

Bennet, whose visit is expected to last from from May 15-26, met with Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and Deputy Prime Minister for Political Affairs, Abdul Kabir, among others.

“Mr. Muttaqi asked Mr. Rishard to present an authentic report based on facts, not based on the media, biased networks, and people living abroad who are opposed to the government,” Afghan foreign ministry spokesperson Abdul Qahar Balkhi announced on social media Wednesday.

The spokesperson added that Muttaqi “briefed the UN Special Rapporteur on the religious and cultural values and cultural characteristics of the Afghan people,” that need to be taken into account when drafting the final report on the human rights situation in the country.

Bennett, during the meeting late Tuesday, expressed gratitude for their inputs and “promised that his report will be based on facts,” according to the spokesperson.

A situation played out between the special rapporteur and Kabir, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s office, where Bennett stressed he sought to “look closely at the human rights situation here, examine the reports, distinguish between right and wrong, and submit the report for the United Nations which rely on facts.”

Other issues discussed included press freedom, the state of prisoners, the seriousness of the economic and health crisis and the situation of women, it added.

The human rights situation in the country has seen a sharp decline since the Taliban returned to power, especially in the case of women, as the fundamentalists have been consistently breaking their promises and imposing more restrictions on the people.

Islamists have imposed burqa – full body covering – on women, and restricted their access to education and jobs with a few exceptions, such as in the health sector, while also making it mandatory for them to travel accompanied by a male family member.

However, the Taliban claim that many of these restrictions are only temporary, and they were finding ways for women to go to school or work while adhering to Islamic law and Afghan culture, where – according to the Islamists – general contact between men and women is not accepted.

The visit of the UN special rapporteur to the Asian country also coincided with the official announcement by the Taliban of the dissolution of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and four other agencies because of their inactivity and lack of funds. EFE


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