The latest: In a startling report, a human rights organization formed recently, Rawadari, has highlighted the deplorable situation of human rights in Afghanistan under the Taliban ever since it came to power on August 15, 2021. In fact, it stated that close to 3,000 civilians have died or have been injured under the group’s rule.
- The report has collated data from Afghanistan regarding human rights violations for a period of one year since the Taliban seized power and has stated that there have been numerous incidents of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.
- “As a result of systematic and purposeful discrimination by the ruling group, women have been deprived of some of their most basic human rights, such as the rights to education and work. Ethnic and religious minorities have been exposed to the discriminatory behavior of the ruling group and have fallen victim to deadly terrorist attacks,” it added.
- Civilian casualties: According to information and findings of the Rawadari institution, 2,932 individuals have been killed or injured in total during one year of Taliban as a result of deadly terrorist attacks and targeted assassinations.
- Targeted killings: The report added that 210 people—primarily consisting of employees of the security institutions of the previous government, judges, defense lawyers, human rights defenders, prosecutors, individuals affiliated with popular uprisings, former staff of the government and non-government institutions, and civilian citizens accused of collaborating with the ISIS group and the Resistance Front—have been systematically and purposefully killed and wounded during one year of Taliban rule.
- These individuals were killed in the provinces of Kandahar, Ghor, Jalalabad, Kunar, Helmand, Uruzgan, Daikundi, Herat, Mazar Sharif, Panjshir, Badakhshan, Kabul, Kunduz, Takhar, and Sarpol. The organisation said that after ruling over Afghanistan, the Taliban group has resorted to retaliatory measures to identify and pursue individuals belonging to governmental and non-governmental institutions.
- Torture and abuse: Information obtained from local sources by the organization shows that the Taliban group has committed widespread torture and ill treatment during its one-year rule over Afghanistan. Based on the findings of this report, approximately 440 people were tortured and mistreated during the last year.
- Arbitrary detentions: The findings of Rawadari show that 916 people have been illegally and arbitrarily detained by the Taliban in the past year. These individuals include the employees of the previous government—especially the employees of the former security and defense institutions and their relatives—journalists and civil and social activists, and other civilians.
- Access to justice: In its report, the organization has stated that in the past year, 1,016 professional and administrative employees of various departments of the central and provincial prosecutors as well as 2,000 judges who were in the departments during the republican period, have been dismissed from their duties.
- Also, in the first several months of its rule, the Taliban group has violently suppressed 13 civil and peaceful protests, leading to the arrest and torture of a large number of protesters, including journalists who covered the demonstrations.
- Women rights: The report also spoke extensively about women rights. “During the past year, the Taliban have committed the most possible discrimination and oppression against women, depriving them of their human rights and freedoms,” it stated. Following a year of Taliban rule, hundreds of thousands of female students across the country have been deprived of their most basic human right to education.
- “The violent suppression of women’s protests and petition activities and, after it, the creation of an atmosphere of fear and terror have caused female pioneers in the field of civil activities not to leave the house in large parts of the country; the Taliban’s imposition of extensive restrictions, as well as mandatory requirements regarding the hijab and Mahram for women, have essentially removed the possibility of any kind of female participation in public affairs,” the organization has said in the report.
- “With the re-establishment of the Taliban rule in Afghanistan, the greatest damage and losses have been imposed on the lives of women and girls in this country, to the extent that they are deprived of their most basic human rights and freedoms, such as the rights to work and education,” it said.
- Ethnic and religious minorities: The report mentions that in the past year, a wide range of repressive measures and deadly terrorist attacks against ethnic and religious minorities have taken place in a number of provinces. Ethnic and religious groups of Hindu believers, Hazaras, and Uzbeks have experienced different types of discrimination during this period.
- Terrorist attacks: Another fact the report mentions is that during the past year, 13 deadly and targeted terrorist attacks have taken place on positions of Hazaras and Shiites in Afghanistan, resulting in the deaths and injuries of 700 people.
- Freedom of speech: The organization said that due to the prevailing atmosphere of fear and suffocation in the country and the implementation of extremely strict policies by the Taliban, a large number of media and press and civil society and cultural organizations have ceased their activities. Thus, freedoms of expression and the press, which are considered the most important achievements of the last two decades, have become more limited with each passing day.
- Rawadari has urged international community, the United Nations, and global and regional human rights organizations to prevent widespread and enduring violations of human rights to the international community.
- It has asked them to utilize all leverage to reopen girls’ schools, ensure women’s return to work in all sectors and work to lift all current restrictions on women’s rights and freedoms.
- It called on the Taliban to remember their duty towards the Afghan public and the importance of creating inclusive mechanisms and procedures of governance at all levels where women, minorities and all marginalized groups are listened to and included.
- Rawadari also asked the International Criminal Court to investigate and administer justice for cases of human rights violations, especially crimes against humanity and genocide and war crimes, while it also asked the United Nations to facilitate an independent investigation by competent authorities into the genocide of Hazaras and Shiites in Afghanistan.
Zoom out: Rawadari is an Afghan human rights organisation that aims to deepen and grow the human rights culture of Afghanistan, ultimately reducing the suffering of all Afghans, especially women and girls.
- Rawadari is aiming to build an Afghan human rights movement, monitors human rights violations, and pursues justice and accountability for violations. Rawadari works with individuals and collectives inside and outside Afghanistan.
Shahrazad Akbar, the former head of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, is the executive director of this newly established human rights organisation.