GENEVA: United States (UN) rights chief Michelle Bachelet on Monday criticised violence against protesters and alleged reprisal killings, saying that the Taliban were breaking their promises on women’s rights and inclusivity in Afghanistan.
Addressing the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, she said there were “credible allegations” former members of the security forces had been killed, and some people who worked for previous administrations had been detained and later “found dead”.
She also highlighted allegations of house-to-house searches of former officials, raids on civil society groups and “increasing violence against protesters and journalists”.
Michelle Bachelet said she was “dismayed by the lack of inclusivity of the so-called caretaker cabinet, which includes no women and few non-Pashtuns”. Bachelet stressed that most Afghans were eager to see an end to decades of conflict and division.
“They long for peace and stability in a country where they and their children can prosper,” she said. She also highlighted promises by the Taliban to install a more moderate brand of rule including protecting women’s rights.
“In contradiction to assurances that the Taliban would uphold women’s rights, over the past three weeks women have instead been progressively excluded from the public sphere,” she added.
Bachelet reiterated her appeal to the council to set up a “dedicated mechanism” to monitor the rights situation in Afghanistan in a bid to ensure accountability for violations.
The announcement of the government of male loyalists last week was a key step in the Taliban’s consolidation of power over Afghanistan, following a military victory that saw them oust the US-backed administration on August 15.
Infamous for their strict rule from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban had promised a more inclusive government this time. However, all the top positions were handed to key leaders from the movement and the Haqqani network.