Geneva [Switzerland], October 8 (ANI): Amid reports of escalating violence in Afghanistan post the Taliban takeover, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Thursday in Geneva adopted a resolution to install a special rapporteur and a team of experts to monitor human rights.
Nick Cumming-Bruce, writing in The New York Times (NYT) said that the top human rights body voted to appoint human rights watchdog in Afghanistan.
The Human Rights Council in Geneva adopted a European Union-led resolution endorsed by 50 mainly European and Latin American countries that will install, by March of next year, a special rapporteur and a team of technical experts to monitor human rights there.
Targeted killings are “continuously happening,” and in some areas are daily occurrences, Shaharzad Akbar, the head of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, said by phone from a location outside the country ahead of the council’s vote.
Most victims are former army or police officers and their families, she said, but there are also reports of former prosecutors being killed, wrote Bruce.
Moreover, the unlawful killing of 13 members of Afghanistan’s Hazara minority, including a 17-year-old girl, has amplified fears for ethnic and religious minorities amid reports that the Taliban are evicting Hazaras from their homes.
The move to appoint human rights watchdog was condemned by China.
China condemned the initiative for overlooking the abuses by American forces and their allies over the past 20 years.
But the 47-member council, after discarding a series of hostile amendments proposed by China, voted 28 to 5 in favor of the resolution, with 14 members abstaining, reported NYT.
The Taliban officials did not respond to a request for comment yet.
Afghanistan’s ambassador to the UN, Nasir Andisha, appointed by the former government but still representing the country in Geneva, delivered a strongly worded condemnation of the new Taliban government, which includes only a few non-Pashtuns and no women at all, and which he accused of a “litany of human rights abuses,” including summary killings and ethnic cleansing carried out in the past two months, wrote Bruce.
“Further violations are all but certain,” he said.
Michelle Bachelet, the UN human rights commissioner, had called for a fact-finding mission at a special session of the Human Rights Council on Afghanistan in August, citing evidence of widespread abuses. But Pakistan and Organization of Islamic Cooperation members, who’d called that meeting, rejected moves to investigate actions by a Taliban government that was still taking shape.
Two months later, demands for oversight gained traction, after a Taliban government dominated by hard-liners had swiftly discarded earlier promises of amnesty for former members of security services; sharply restricted movement and education for women and girls; and cowed independent media through the detention and physical abuse of journalists, reported NYT.
The United Nations has 55 unpaid independent experts working as special rapporteurs monitoring developments in crisis-hit countries and on human rights issues, but a lack of resources constraints many of them, wrote Bruce. (ANI)