UN official: Reports about ‘grave’ Taliban rights abuses are credible

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Photo taken on April 10, 2015 shows a general view of the Kabul city in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Xinhua/Ahmad Massoud)
Photo taken on April 10, 2015 shows a general view of the Kabul city in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Xinhua/Ahmad Massoud)

Serious human rights violations have been committed since the Taliban’s seizure of power in Afghanistan, the UN’s top rights official said on Tuesday.

The abuses have included mass executions of civilians and former members of the Afghan security forces, Michelle Bachelet told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Bachelet cited “credible” reports stating that the movement of women had been curtailed in some regions and that girls were being prevented from attending school.

Furthermore, Taliban militants were cracking down on peaceful protests and minors were being called to arms, she said.

“There are grave fears for women, for journalists and for the new generation of civil society leaders who have emerged in the past years,” Bachelet told the council.

“Afghanistan’s diverse ethnic and religious minorities are also at risk of violence and repression, given previous patterns of serious violations under Taliban rule and reports of killings and targeted attacks in recent months,” she added.

The comments come amid warnings from rights and aid groups about the deepening humanitarian crisis in the country and concerns over human rights and in particular the rights of women.

The Taliban say they will respects the rights of women and girls, but human rights groups say the UN must create an independent body to investigate what is happening.

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