Afghanistan dispatches: UN says 'The safety of Afghan judges, prosecutors, lawyers, women legal professionals, a matter for particular alarm.'
JURIST has received a number of reports from law students and lawyers in Afghanistan on the situation following the Taliban's takeover.
As reported by the JURIST Staff Correspondent in Kabul on Tuesday, the UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights addressed the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday with a report on human rights in Afghanistan. Our correspondent's name has been withheld for the reasons of security and privacy. His words have been lightly edited for the sake of respecting his own perspective.
Since the Taliban took control, there have been over 100 alleged executions of former Afghan national security forces and other members of the former government, 72 of which have been attributed to the Taliban. In an address to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Neda al-Nashif stated the Taliban-led government had imposed "restrictions on women's and girls' basic rights" and perpetrated "targeted killings".
Then she continued:
There have been at least 59 arbitrary detentions, beatings and threats of civil society activists, journalists and staff of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission attributed to the de facto authorities by The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). Since the violent crackdown on peaceful protests for women's rights in September, several women's rights defenders have faced threats and reprisals have been widely feared. Human rights defenders and members of civil society have sometimes been threatened or intimidated. There have been closures of media outlets and numerous civil society groups.
Several of the independent councils in Afghanistan have been unable to function since August. The Afghanistan Independent Bar Association is at risk of losing its independence as a result of de factoauthorities' decision to hand over its administration to the de factoministry of justice.
It is of particular concern that judges, prosecutors and lawyers - especially women lawyers - are safe. In some cases, individuals are in hiding because they fear retribution, for example, retribution from convicted prisoners whom the de facto authorities recently freed, notably men convicted of committing gender-based violence."
In the meantime, Afghanistan's ambassador to Geneva, Nasir Ahmad Andisheh, said that several Afghan provinces had been reported to have been subjected to a controversial policy of ethnic cleansing.
A response from the government led by the Taliban is still pending.