Human Rights Watch has called on the International Cricket Council (ICC) to suspend Taliban-run Afghanistan from ICC membership for the gender-based discrimination policies the ruling regime pursues in the country.
Minky Worden, the director of Human Right Watch said that the suspension of Afghanistan cricket from participating in international competitions should remain in place until Afghan women and girls are allowed to participate in education and sports in the country.
Following Australia’s decision to pull the national team out of the three ODIs against Afghanistan in the United Arab Emirate in March, Human Rights Watch, an international non-governmental organization headquartered in New York City that conducts research and advocacy on human rights, called on ICC to suspend Afghanistan from international cricket.
Cricket Australia’s decision sparked massive reactions in Afghanistan, among the cricketers in particular. Naveen-ul-Haq Murid, an Afghan fast bowler, described the decision as “childish” and accuse Australia of not being supportive of the people of Afghanistan.
Additionally, the Afghanistan Cricket Board reacted to the latest decision, calling it an “extremely disappointing and pathetic move”, and said it would complain to the International Cricket Council.
Worden reiterates that ICC’s anti-discrimination policy explains “that all participants can enjoy the sports without being the subject of conduct that is offensive, insulting, humiliating or intimidating on the basis of gender.”
Apparently, Cricket Australia’s decision became very controversial for Afghanistan Cricket, as certain human rights advocacy organizations clearly support the move and call on the ICC to completely suspend Afghanistan from international cricket until women’s and girls’ basic inherent rights are insured in the country.
Under the Taliban leadership, Afghan women and girls have been deprived of their basic inherent rights to get an education, work, or attend sports. The latest set of restrictions imposed by the Islamic Emirate authorities has completely erased women and girls from public life, accompanied by widespread condemnations on national and international levels.