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Taliban restrictions on the freedoms of women and girls could amount to a crime against humanity, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Afghanistan said Friday. online news
Richard Bennett and other UN experts said the Taliban’s targeting of women and girls deepen “flagrant violations of their human rights and freedoms that are already the most draconian globally and may amount to gender persecution — a crime against humanity”.
Most women who work for the government have lost their jobs — or are being paid a pittance to stay at home — since the Taliban seized back to power in August 2021.
Afghan women have also been barred from travelling without a male relative and must cover up with a burqa or hijab when outside the home.
This month the Taliban barred women from entering parks, funfairs, gyms and public baths.
Schools for teenage girls have also been shuttered across most of the country.
“In recent months, violations of women and girls’ fundamental rights and freedoms in Afghanistan, already the most severe and unacceptable in the world, have sharply increased,” the UN experts said in a statement.
“Confining women to their homes is tantamount to imprisonment and is likely leading to increased levels of domestic violence and mental health challenges.”
The experts said that men accompanying women who wear colourful clothing or no face covering had been brutally beaten by the Taliban, encouraging men and boys to control the behaviour and dress of women and girls.
Women human rights defenders peacefully protesting the restrictions have for months been increasingly targeted, beaten, and arrested, they added.
Discriminatory Taliban measures “should be investigated as gender persecution with a view to prosecutions under international law”, the experts said.
UN experts do not speak for the United Nations but are mandated to report their findings to the global body.
They urged the Taliban to respect women’s fundamental rights and the international community to demand the restoration of women’s freedoms and rights.
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Notes from APS Radio News
The “Cost of War”, a project affiliated with Brown University, has itemized the costs associated with the wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan:
Over 801,000 people have died in the post-9/11 wars due to direct war violence, and several times as many due to the reverberating effects of war
Over 335,000 civilians have been killed as a result of the fighting
37 million — the number of war refugees and displaced persons
The US federal price tag for the post-9/11 wars is over $6.4 trillion
The US government is conducting counterterror activities in 85 countries
The wars have been accompanied by violations of human rights and civil liberties, in the US and abroad.
In addition, the website makes mention of this fact: Since the commencement of these wars, there have been 30,177 suicides of veterans of these wars.
According to a number of economists, the expenditure of vast sums of money—trillions of dollars—on these wars has reduced substantially the purchasing power of the dollar.
Observers have called inflation a “hidden tax”.
During the 1990’s the Clinton administration gave tacit if not explicit support to the Taliban government that took over the country during that time after over a decade of US and Soviet interventions in Afghanistan in the 1980’s.
During the late 1970’s then National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski oversaw surrpetitious intervention, which, in its turn, caused the secular government in Afghanistan to petition the Soviet Union to intervene.
According to the author Jean-Charles Brisard, in the summer of 2001, representatives of the Bush Administration and those of Unocal held a series of meetings with representatives of the Taliban government, for the purpose of obtaining rights of way for the emplacement & construction of a massive pipeline.
When the negotiations came to grief, Bush representatives threatened the Taliban with attacks against the country, Mr. Brisard described in his book, “Forbidden Truth”.
Following the commencement of Soviet and US intervention in Afghanistan in the 1980’s, the country devloved into spheres of influnece dominated by various warlords.
The Pashtuns are the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan; they form a substantial precentage of the population on both sides of Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan.
The Taliban are comprised of members of the Pashtuns, which are the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan.
During the 1960’s and 1970’s, compared to the the 1990’s and beyond, Afghanistan had governments that were deemed more secular.
During that time women attended schools and were more likely to wear Western type clothing.
As a result of actions and policies implemented National Security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, during the Carter administration, the government in Afghanistan in the late 1970’s requested Soviet assistance.
After the Soviet armed forces had entered Afghanistan, the CIA funded and armed groups like the Mujahideen and other militant Islamists.