Kabul: Amid the growing outcry over the women`s rights situation in Afghanistan, a top Taliban official has said that the schools for female students are closed for religious issues and that there is a need for agreement of Islamic scholars on this matter. Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said efforts are underway to reopen girls’ schools. “If (we) were acting on Pakistan`s instruction, the problems of the schools and other problems would have already been solved. This is a religious issue and it needs Islamic cleric`s agreement,” Mujahid was quoted as saying by TOLOnews. The Taliban official said that opposing the decision of the Islamic clerics regarding the schools will have negative consequences.
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The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) last month released a report outlining the human rights situation in Afghanistan ever since the Taliban takeover. The report summarizes UNAMA`s findings with regards to the protection of civilians, extrajudicial killings, torture and ill-treatment, arbitrary arrests and detentions, the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan, fundamental freedoms and the situation in places of detention.
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) today said the Taliban have broken multiple pledges to respect human rights and women`s rights since taking over Afghanistan a year ago. After capturing Kabul in August last year, the Islamic authorities have imposed severe restrictions on women`s and girls` rights, suppressed the media, and arbitrarily detained, tortured, and summarily executed critics and perceived opponents, among other abuses.
The New York-based rights group in its report said Taliban human rights abuses have brought widespread condemnation and imperilled international efforts to address the country`s dire humanitarian situation.
The economy has collapsed, largely because governments have cut foreign assistance and restricted international economic transactions. More than 90 per cent of Afghans have been food insecure for almost a year, causing millions of children to suffer from acute malnutrition and threatening serious long-term health problems.
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“The Afghan people are living a human rights nightmare, victims of both Taliban cruelty and international apathy,” said Fereshta Abbasi, Afghanistan researcher at HRW.
“Afghanistan`s future will remain bleak unless foreign governments engage more actively with Taliban authorities while pressing them vigorously on their rights record.”Since taking power, the Taliban have imposed rules that comprehensively prevent women and girls from exercising their most fundamental rights to expression , movement, and education, and affect their other basic rights to life, livelihood, health care, food, and water.