Crime & Justice

UN, AI denounce ‘arbitrary arrest’ of Afghan women activists by Taliban

Kabul, Dec 7 (EFE).- The United Nations and Amnesty International (AI) on Thursday denounced the Taliban government for its “arbitrary and long term” detention of at least four Afghan women rights activists in recent months.

The Taliban apprehended and detained “prominent women human rights defenders” Parisa Azada, Neda Parwani, Zholia Parsi, and Manizha Seddiqi between September and November in capital Kabul.

“We have grave concerns about the impact of long term, arbitrary detentions,” the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a brief statement.

“We call on Afghanistan’s de facto authorities to ensure rights to health care, family visits and legal representation are protected and fulfilled,” the UN mission added.

UNAMA urged the Taliban interim government to uphold the “freedom of opinion and expression” in line with international human rights obligations.

Separately, Amnesty reported that the arrested women “have not had access to lawyers or regular family visits while in detention and are at risk of torture and other forms of ill-treatment.”

While others remained in detention, Manizha Seddiqi was transferred to the country’s largest jail, Pol-Charkhi, on Dec. 5, the rights body said.

Amnesty specifically expressed concerns about Zholia Parsi’s condition, stating that on Dec. 4, she was taken to the hospital and then back to prison due to a “deteriorated health condition, which could be the result of torture and ill-treatment.”

“These women human rights defenders and their family members must be released immediately and unconditionally,” IA stressed.

Since seizing control of Kabul in August 2021, the Taliban has increasingly “violated the rights of women and girls,” according to Amnesty, prohibiting their political participation and involvement in public life, including curtailing their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

Despite the restrictions, women have continued to hold “peaceful protests” against Taliban policies in various Afghan cities, particularly in Kabul.

“Women organizing or participating in those protests have been subjected to unlawful use of force, arbitrary arrests, and detentions,enforced disappearances, torture, and other forms of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment,” it said.

Despite promises of change, the Taliban, over the last two years, have reinstated the oppressive norms of their previous regime (1996-2001), based on a rigid interpretation of Islamic law that deprived women of fundamental rights, including access to education and work. EFE


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