Afghanistan a year after the Taliban occupation: War on human rights

Afghan nationals stage a protest over the violence against women in Afghanistan at Jantar Mantar, in New Delhi. Photo- ANI

The word “anniversary” usually brings about happy and memorable moments. But Aug. 15 marks one year since the Taliban takeover and occupation of Afghanistan, and it’s not a happy occasion for my homeland.

Recently, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) released a report entitled “Human Rights in Afghanistan,” delving into the situation in the country since the takeover.

The report is troubling but not shocking as it highlights civilian casualties, restrictions on women’s rights and freedom of speech, extrajudicial killings, and ethnic minority persecutions. Yet a lot is under-reported due to the difficulties in gathering evidence against the Taliban, which has censored the media and mistreated journalists.

The UNAMA report states that the Taliban have taken steps “aimed at the protection and promotion of human rights” and that the security has improved. UNAMA has proposed several recommendations to the Taliban as the extremist regime tries to enhance its reputation globally, but the fundamental human rights of Afghans continue to be violated.

War against women


Afghanistan is under occupation. There have been many reports detailing the forced displacement and systemic genocide against the Hazara population, targeted violence and eyewitness reports of the mass killings of 600 Tajik hostages, crimes against humanity in Panjshir, and strip mining of mineral wealth and the war the Taliban are waging against women.

As the Taliban send their daughters to schools overseas, secondary schools for other girls have been banned for almost a year.

Women are forced to wear the hijab or burqa, park visits are segregated by sex and women were recently sacked from their jobs at the Finance Ministry in favour of male relatives.

Amnesty International’s recent report describes the situation of Afghan women as “death in slow motion.” With the scrapping also of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, this is a gender-apartheid regime.

The Taliban have also instructed men to grow beards and not trim them, and to wear local clothing or face consequences.

Other tragedies are ongoing. Millions of Afghans have been displaced since the occupation. A powerful earthquake in June killed more than 1,000 people, leading to a cholera outbreak. The Doha Agreement, a peace pact signed between the U.S. and Taliban to mark the withdrawal of all forces in Afghanistan, has also been breached as terrorist groups reposition themselves under the Taliban.


* Ph.D. candidate, Sociology, University of Toronto

Source- The Conversation, August 1, 2022 9.27pm AEST (Under Creative Commons Licence)

By Ferdouse Asefi*

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