Afghanistan: torture, killings and arbitrary arrests more systematic than ever

Protesters chant sloguns during a demonstration of members of the Afghan community outside the US embassy in Athens after the Taliban swept to power in Afghanistan on August 28, 2021 © Shutterstock

52nd session of the Human Rights Council, Interactive dialogue with Special Rapporteur on Afghanistan.

Statement delivered by Nazifa Jalali, member of HRD+ on 6 March 2023

We from Afghan HRD+ and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) fully support Mr. Bennet’s observations that the human rights situation in my country is further worsening, and violations are getting more systematic, particularly when it comes to extrajudicial killings, torture, and arbitrary arrests.

We have documented an increase of arbitrary arrests of those critical to the authoritarian regime and of torture of children in detention. We receive reports on cruel detention conditions, like overcrowding, isolation in dark cells with limited access to family and lawyers.

Thereby, we women are especially affected, as we are collectively deprived of our fundamental rights, including limited access to legal support based on the gender discriminatory set up of the judicial system.

We still receive daily requests for support and evacuation from human rights defenders, journalists and artists who remain in Afghanistan and neighboring countries. The civic space is seriously restricted. The culture of Talibanism has created an atmosphere of fear and desperation. We request you to continue facilitating the safe resettlement of Afghans at risk and provide funding to Afghan human rights activists in their works.

We strongly call for an international, comprehensive accountability mechanism to monitor, document and preserve the gross human rights violations in Afghanistan to hold all involved parties accountable.

Thank you