UN to appoint special rapporteur to monitor rights in Afghanistan

Photo: Wakil Kohsar – AFP

 

The rapporteur will be responsible for monitoring human rights situation following the Taliban takeover of the country.

By Aljazeera

Oct 7, 2021

The UN has voted to create a new special rapporteur on Afghanistan to probe violations carried out by the Taliban and other parties to the conflict, amid growing concerns for the erosion of civil rights as the country transitions to an “Islamic emirate”.

The UN Human Rights Council on Thursday passed a resolution brought by the European Union to have a special rapporteur working on the ground in March 2022, supported by UN experts in legal analysis, forensics and women’s rights.

At the 47-member state forum, 28 countries voted in favour, 14 abstained and five voted against. China, Pakistan, Russia, Eritrea and Venezuela opposed the motion.

“This is an essential step to ensure continued monitoring, through a dedicated and independent expert, and to help prevent a further deterioration of the human rights situation in Afghanistan,” said Lotte Knudsen, the EU’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva.

“The rights of women and girls are of particular concern to us. The actions of the Taliban directed against women and girls and the violation of their rights is highly worrying.”

Amnesty International has welcomed the decision, saying an independent, international investigative mechanism with powers to document and gather evidence for future prosecutions will be critical to ensure justice.

Last month, 50 organisations had urged UN member states to establish a fact-finding mission or a similar independent investigative mechanism for Afghanistan.

Amnesty International has accused the Taliban of human rights violations that may amount to war crimes, including targeted killings of civilians and surrendered soldiers, and the blockading of humanitarian supplies.

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