Written By: Tabasum Nasiry
Richard Bennett, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights for Afghanistan, has welcomed the statements of experts from the UN organization calling for the cessation of the detention of girls based on dress code violations and emphasized that they will continue to investigate the detention of girls for this reason.
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, in a message posted on his social media platform X, has welcomed the report by the organization’s experts regarding the end of “arbitrary” detentions of women in Afghanistan.
UN experts, in their report published on February 2nd, expressed concern over the “arbitrary” detentions of women and girls by the Taliban forces and stated that detained girls in Taliban prisons have been subjected to physical violence.
Mr. Bennett emphasized that “I, along with other UN experts, call on the Taliban to put an end to the arbitrary detention of women and girls based on ‘bad hijab,’ which violates their human rights and the agency’s rights. I will continue to investigate related allegations.”
It is worth noting that the recent detentions of women and girls in various parts of the country, including Kabul, Bamyan, Daikundi, Panjshir, Balkh, and Kunduz, due to non-compliance with the hijab, have sparked widespread reactions in the past month.
In a statement by the UN experts, it is mentioned that “detained women and girls were transferred to the police station where they received only one meal a day and continued to face physical torture.”
According to the organization’s report, most of the detained girls for “immodesty” started in western Kabul areas, particularly Hazara-populated areas, and rapidly extended to Tajik-populated areas in Kabul, Bamyan, Balkh, Daikundi, and Kunduz cities.
UN experts have also reiterated that “Taliban authorities in Afghanistan should adhere to Afghanistan’s international human rights commitments, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and strive to support human rights principles, eliminate discrimination, and uphold the rule of law.”
Previously, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Afghanistan had condemned the detention of girls in Afghanistan, describing it as “indicative of further restrictions on women’s freedom and the weakening of their other rights.”
On the other hand, Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesperson for the Taliban, has dismissed the new report from the United Nations Human Rights Office regarding the “arbitrary” detention of women and girls in the country as “baseless.”
Mr. Mujahid emphasized that “we reject these reports; no one is imprisoned, no one is detained, and none of these allegations are true. Unfortunately, certain entities should not rely on these claims with the support of social media networks that do not have a precise and solid foundation.”
This comes as concerns about the human rights situation, particularly women’s rights, continue to persist even after two years of Taliban rule in Afghanistan, including concerns about education and employment opportunities for women.