UN report flays Taliban rights violations against women in Afghanistan, March 9, 2000

A UN report accused the radical Islamic regime in Afghanistan of violating women's rights with "unabated severity," including mass abductions and forced prostitution. The report cited testimony from refugees about the large-scale abduction of women and girls by militia of the ruling Taliban movement during fighting last year in the northern and central parts of the country. UN rapporteur Kamal Hossain provided testimony about ethnic Hazara and Tajik women being rounded up in trucks and taken from the regions of Mazar-e-Sharif, Pol-e-Khomri and Shamali to neighbouring Pakistan and the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar. "Many suspect that women and girls end up forced into prostitution," his report said, adding that "women have been killed and maimed trying to escape from these trucks." Women from the Kabul, Mazar-e-Sharif and Shamali regions also gave accounts of forced marriages to Taliban members, it said. "When families refuse they take the women and girls away by force," it said, adding that many families in Shamali had sent their daughters away to avoid such a fate. The Taliban militia, committed to a radical fundamentalist form of Islam, swept to power nearly four years ago and now controls most of Afghanistan, although fighting against rival movements continues in parts of the country.

Since coming to power, the Taliban has barred women from attending schools or working outside the home. Women can only appear in public hidden in head-to-toe robes. Routinely targeted by the world community for abusing women's rights, the Taliban on Wednesday marked International Women's Day for the first time, bringing around 700 women to a Kabul women's hospital in buses with dark curtains drawn. But the UN report insisted the Taliban continued to enforce its severe edicts against women's participation in public life "with unabated severity."
It said the regime continued to deny women access to education, health and employment and quoted refugees relating stories "of the abduction of women, rape, infliction of the punishment of stoning, lashing and other forms of inhuman punishment." The report by Hossain, who conducted several visits to Afghanistan and Pakistan, was based on a survey of internally displaced Afghans and refugees who left the country between the end of 1998 and third quarter of 1999. The report was compiled in January and will be presented to the UN Commission on Human Rights during meetings beginning on March 20. Hossain gave evidence that non-Afghans, including Pakistanis and Arabs, who are fighting alongside the Taliban, are also involved in the rights violations against women and ethnic minorities. Fighting in Afghanistan intensified last year in the central highlands particularly in Bamyan and in the Shamali Plains north of Kabul. Hossain related evidence of summary executions of non-combatants by Taliban forces, arbitrary detentions and forced labour. "All these practices constitute grave human rights violations," he said.

"The actions, reportedly carried out by Taliban forces who were engaged in military operations, ran directly counter to assurances publicly given by the Taliban leadership with regard to the rights of thecivilian populations," the report said.

Comment on the report made by a Christian mission stationed in the region:

Finally, the truth! The tragic truth is coming out. Afghans and real friends of Afghanistan who have known about these horrendous atrocities and have been bewildered by the international community's apathy and silence, praise the UN Human Rights Rapporteur for his integrity, courage and sincerity to reveal the truth about the misery and tyranny facing the Afghan people, be it Pashtoon, Tajik, Hazara or Uzbek. We also know who are puppet-masters behind these radical Talib, Pakistani and Arab groups terrorizing our people, specially the defenseless women of Afghanistan. Ironically, it was only yesterday that the Sayed Ahmed Farah, the acting UN coordinator for Afghanistan saw improvement (maybe not 100%, he says) in women's conditions under the Taliban. He praised the Taliban and, like his other colleagues, Eric De Mul and a select number of known NGOs with vested interests, he encouraged the Taliban and subtly asked the world community to engage them by providing more funds for these aid organizations who have done a wonderful job of keeping he Afghans at subsistence levels and producing a nation of beggars. How come the Farahs, De Muls, ISI propagandists in New York, Washington and London, and special interest NGOs do not see what is happening to the women, children and men of Afghanistan??? We aks that the international community investigate these crimes against humanity, consider the perpetrators as war criminals and bring them to justice in any way possible.

Tillbaks till Afghanistansidan