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A Year Since Takeover, EU Slams Taliban’s Women, Girls’ Rights Violations

A Year Since Takeover, EU Slams Taliban’s Women, Girls’ Rights Violations

Monday, 15 August, 2022 - 10:00
Taliban fighters walk as they fire in air to disperse Afghan women protesters in Kabul on August 13, 2022. (AFP)

A spokesperson for the European Union slammed Sunday violations by Taliban against the rights of Afghan women and girls.

"The Taliban have failed to establish an inclusive political system, thereby denying the aspirations of the Afghan people," stated Nabila Massrali, spokesperson for EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Monday marks the first anniversary of the movement’s return to power in Afghanistan, following a turbulent year that saw women's rights crushed and a humanitarian crisis worsen.

No country has recognized Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan.

Women participated in protests to denounce restrictions on their rights to education, work and freedom of movement.

On Saturday, Taliban fighters beat women protesters and fired into the air as they violently dispersed a rare rally in the Afghan capital.

About 40 women -- chanting "bread, work and freedom" -- marched in front of the education ministry building in Kabul, before the fighters dispersed them by firing their guns into the air.

The EU further denounced the institutionalized and systemic abuse of the population’s economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights, "including ethnic and religious groups and in particular Hazaras and the Shiite population."

It reiterated its commitment to the Afghan people and to stability, prosperity and sustainable peace in Afghanistan and the region.

The EU called on the "de facto" authorities, for the sake of the Afghan people, to repeal legislation and discontinue policies violating Afghanistan’s human rights obligations.

Afghanistan must not remain a safe haven for terrorists, nor a threat to international security, the statement stressed.

Exactly a year ago, the hardline Taliban captured Kabul after their nationwide lightning offensive against government forces ended 20 years of US-led military intervention.

The heaving wards of a ramshackle clinic in southern Afghanistan are just one sign of the catastrophic humanitarian crisis that has gripped the war-ravaged country since the Taliban returned to power a year ago.

Last month, the Musa Qala District Hospital in Helmand province was forced to shut its doors to all except those suffering from suspected cholera.

The infirmary was soon jammed with listless patients, intravenous drips needled into their wrists as they recuperated on rusting gurneys.

Though the clinic lacks facilities to test for cholera, about 550 patients presented themselves within days, showing symptoms of a disease caused by a lack of basic sanitation needs: clean drinking water and an adequate sewerage system.

"It's very difficult," hospital chief Ehsanullah Rodi, run ragged on just five hours of sleep a night since the influx began, told AFP.

"We haven't seen this last year, or another year."

Poverty in the country -- felt most keenly in Afghanistan's south -- has been driven to desperate new levels, exacerbated by drought and inflation since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"Since the Emirate (Taliban) came into power, we can't even find cooking oil," said one woman, perched on a hospital cot next to her malnourished six-month-old grandson in Lashkar Gah, Helmand's provincial capital.

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