Afghanistan: torture and ill-treatment continue in all impunity


51st session of the Human Rights Council

Interactive dialogue with Special Rapporteur on Afghanistan

12 September 2022

We thank the Special Rapporteur for his thorough report and for highlighting the closing civic space due to serious attacks against human rights defenders, journalists and protestors. Our colleagues who are still in Afghanistan have been arrested, arbitrarily detained, executed or disappeared.

We share the Special Rapporteur’s findings and demands on torture and detention conditions. While torture has always been endemic, it appears to have worsened under the Taliban. Our anti-torture coalition, a network of Afghan civil society organizations formed in 2016, documented barbaric methods of torture like shooting into the limbs of victims or severely injuring their genitals. Detention conditions have considerably worsened with overcrowding, poor hygiene, lack of food, and no access to health care. Moreover, there are reports of corporal punishments like shootings of juvenile detainees. At the same time, there seems to be no accountability. We are unaware of a single investigation let alone conviction for torture.

We call on the Human Rights Council to ask to be provided with regular updates by the OHCHR and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan and: to establish an independent investigative mechanism in parallel to the Special Rapporteur’s mandate and to collect evidence, document and investigate all alleged violations and abuses, including their gender dimension.

As a human rights defender from Afghanistan, I will keep fighting for a country in which all men and women can enjoy their rights and freedoms as well as a dignified life. I hope that this Council will do the same.

Thank you.