Published: Thu, 28 September 2023
In a bid to address the dire human rights situation in Afghanistan, Sean Kelly, MEP for Ireland South, has proposed a resolution set to be voted on Thursday, October 5, in the European Parliament. The resolution calls attention to the catastrophic aftermath of the withdrawal of Western forces from Afghanistan and the subsequent rise of the Taliban, emphasizing the urgent need for international intervention to safeguard the rights and well-being of Afghan citizens.
“The withdrawal of Western forces from Afghanistan and the subsequent rise of the Taliban have led to a humanitarian catastrophe that transcends borders and affects us all. I remain extremely concerned for the safety and well-being of Afghan citizens. In this resolution, we specifically call out the heinous acts perpetrated on former government officials, but the systematic stripping of rights of women, girls, members of the LGBTQI community, and ethnic minorities needs more action from the international community,” declared Kelly.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has issued a damning report documenting multiple cases of human rights violations against former government officials and former armed forces members in Afghanistan during the period from August 15, 2021, to June 30, 2023. The report contains credible allegations that the country’s de facto authorities were responsible for 218 extrajudicial killings, 14 enforced disappearances, over 144 instances of torture and ill treatment, and 424 arbitrary arrests and detentions.
“Despite promises, the Taliban has not ceased violence, and human rights defenders and media workers continue to face attacks, intimidation, and even killings. Civil society activists and journalists are not safe. The Taliban have ushered in a dark cloud across Afghanistan, and I fear their oppressive regime hides more horrors than we currently know. Fear has gripped the country with no respite in sight,” warned Kelly.
The European Parliament, issues “urgency” resolutions on particularly worrying human rights situations or specific cases in individual countries at each plenary session. The forthcoming Urgency Resolution calls on the Taliban to fully enforce their publicly announced commitment to the general amnesty of former officials and the armed and security forces.
Furthermore, Kelly’s resolution demands that the Taliban issue clear instructions stating that acts of violation of human rights against former officials are unlawful and that perpetrators will be held accountable through criminal investigations.
In a prior call to action, Kelly urged the European Commission and Member States to open up academic networks to Afghan citizens, with a particular focus on women and girls. He also advocated for European universities to develop special programs aimed at supporting Afghan students and scholars.
“The ongoing denial of access to education for girls and young women in Afghanistan will have long-lasting consequences. The longer it goes on, the harder it will be to rectify. The EU has the capacity to support the brightest young Afghan minds and future leaders to continue their education,” Kelly concluded.