Human Rights Council: Taliban’s treatment of women is a “red line”

  • Michelle Bachelet does not trust the Taliban.

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  • Afghan women fear persecution.

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Yesterday, during a special meeting of the Human Rights Council on Afghanistan, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, warned that the Taliban's treatment of women would constitute a "red line".

In opening the discussions, Bachelet explained that "the way the (Taliban) treats women and girls and respects their rights to freedom, freedom of movement, education, expression and work, in accordance with international human rights standards, will constitute a red line."

"Ensuring that girls have access to high-quality secondary education will be a key indicator of the (Taliban's) commitment to respecting human rights," she added.

The Human Rights Council organizes three regular sessions a year, but if a third of the member states apply, a special session can be convened at any time.

The special sessions on Afghanistan are being held at the request of Pakistan, in its capacity as coordinator of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on human rights and humanitarian issues, and Afghanistan, represented by the diplomat appointed by the previous government, with the support of nearly 100 countries, including France and the United States.

Since taking power on August 15, the Taliban has been trying to convince Afghans that it has changed and that its regime will be less strict than its previous rule between 1996 and 2001.

She emphasized, in particular, that she would respect women's rights and would allow women to receive education and work, and would also guarantee the independence and freedom of the media.

However, this has not convinced the thousands of Afghans who flock to Kabul airport in an attempt to leave the country.

Bachelet said she had received "credible information indicating serious violations of international humanitarian law and other human rights violations in many areas under the effective (Taliban) authority."

Bachelet warned the movement that "human rights violations undermine the legitimacy of their perpetrators vis-à-vis the population, regional and international institutions and other states."

• Since assuming power on August 15, the Taliban movement has been trying to convince the Afghans that it has changed, and that its regime will be less strict than its previous rule between 1996 and 2001, and has emphasized in particular that it will respect women's rights.

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