Afghanistan: UN experts urge swift global action to protect human rights and prevent ‘civilian slaughter’
GENEVA (16 August 2021) – UN human rights experts* today issued a statement calling on Member States to take immediate and preventive action to prevent the slaughter of civilians, the destruction of essential civilian infrastructure, and the undoing of decades of human rights, rule of law and gender equality work to advance the health, education, culture and social infrastructure of Afghanistan. Their statement is as follows:
“The work undertaken in partnership over the last 20 years by the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the international community with Afghan human rights defenders, women’s groups, other civil society organisations and the Afghan people is under grave threat.
The Taliban’s recent military offensive appears to have taken over much of the country by force and has directly targeted civilian city centres. In addition, as previously reported by Special Procedures and as was recently captured in the Statement from the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Taliban’s military offensive has been marked by a relentless campaign of direct targeting of civilians, civil society and journalists, summary executions, assassination of human rights defenders, arbitrary detention, mass executions of civilians, and unlawful restrictions on the human rights of women and girls.