by Vishakha Singh 30 September 2021
On 15th August 2021 Taliban overthrown the Afghan government, re-establishing their regime after the 1990s soon after the deployment of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. Ironically, the word ‘Taliban’ stands for “students” in the Pashto language. They are the fundamentalist Islamic group that emerged in 1996 around the Afghan city of Kandahar, labeled as a terrorist organization by several governments around the globe. The development of the Taliban poses’ tremendous danger to the entire world as its rise will help the terrorist groups to upgrade their ruthlessness and terror. The recent suicide bombing case in Afghanistan that nearly killed 170 Afghan citizens and 13 U.S. military troops was carried out by the Islamist State organization in order to regenerate their barbarism after the deployment of U.S. military troops. Alongside the dread of the rise of terrorism, the crisis of human rights is likewise being concerned by all the human rights organizations around the globe.
Violation of International Human Rights standards- After the barbaric rule of the Taliban in 1996, it is again clear that the principles and regulations of the Taliban are again going to be extremely stringent explicitly on the freedom of women. In any case, the Taliban’s representative guaranteed that they will follow international norms and will allow ladies to practice their privileges.
- Status of Women under Taliban- On January 24, 1983, Afghanistan ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 6 of ICCPR mentions -Sentence of death shall not be imposed for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age and shall not be carried out on pregnant women. In connection to this, the Taliban imposes that girls above eight must wear ‘burkha’ when visiting outside their home or meeting an outsider under the pretext of orthodox religious laws. The punishment for disobeying the law under the Taliban is stoning to death, flogging, and public humiliation. Also, Article 12 of ICCPR says- Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own. However, the reasoning behind the recent suicide bombing case in the Afghanistan airport was mainly carried out in order to prevent the citizens to flee and seek asylum in other countries.
- LGBTQ community- Not only the women but the LGBTQ community of Afghanistan are also hiding their identities in order to save their lives. Article 18 of the ICCPR says that- Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private. Under the orthodox religious laws of the Taliban, homosexuality is deserving of death. The LGBTQ community is afraid and terrified that they will be killed by the Taliban fighters.
- The situation of media and news agencies– Several instances of reporters getting beaten, female journalists denied entering into the media houses are coming forward. The recent death of Danish Siddiqui, Pulitzer Prize winner and an Indian photo-journalist in Afghanistan stirred the rage among the news agencies. A report authored by the U.S. Defence Secretary Adviser Michael Rubin mentioned that the Indian photo-journalist was not killed in crossfire instead he was brutally murdered by the Taliban forces. In his report, he also mentioned that observing the photographs and investigating the injuries around the head of Danish shows the brutality of Taliban forces against media persons. HRC resolution 33/2 based on the international human rights law highlights the safety of the journalists. This resolution also covers the threat and violence faced by women journalists. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) also works on the violations of freedom of expression of media platforms and journalists along with monitoring the violations of this right. There is a separate headquarter of OHCHR in the Kabul city of Afghanistan that regulates, monitors and protect several rights of the citizens.
What is the role of world powers?
Instead of providing citizenship or asylum to the refugees, can’t this exodus stop in the first place? Nobody ventures out from home except if a home turns into a perilous place. Unfortunately, the world powers are neglecting to show up the significance of these words. The deployment of U.S. military forces from Afghanistan marks the ignorance about several lives falling off the planes and begging to leave their own homeland. By supporting or funding the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) will not only boost the morale of the military soldiers but also help in providing mental support to the citizens. Nevertheless, since almost every province in Afghanistan is under the control of the Taliban carrying out this task will not be easy.
Concluding remarks- As the world is watching the Taliban taking control of the country, the afghani citizens are paying the price of this subjugation by surrendering their basic human rights. There are still myriads of ways to cope up with these stringent situations in order to stop the mass exodus, brutality, and terror among the citizens of Afghanistan. The most suffered section of the society is women under these orthodox religious ideas, moreover the stringent policies against the LGBTQ community also seizing their right to live. These serious situations in Afghanistan call for quick and immediate action from all the human rights watch around the globe. These situations cannot heal on their own for this reason the world needs to come together to make the ‘graveyard of empires’ a land of happy hunting grounds.