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UN urged to establish independent investigation for Afghanistan

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The World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) and 63 human rights groups have jointly appealed to the UN Human Rights Council, urging the establishment of an independent investigation mechanism for Afghanistan.

The recent letter highlights a disturbing trend over the past two years, characterized by a surge in reprisal killings, torture, arbitrary detentions, and enforced disappearances. This distressing situation encompasses human rights defenders, journalists, and artists and extends to around 800 former government officials and national security personnel. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has documented these troubling occurrences in its latest report.

The letter underscores the grave concerns surrounding escalating acts of violence and human rights violations. It brings attention to the distressing reality of increased reprisals, torture, and ill-treatment, along with the unjust detention and disappearance of numerous individuals, including activists, journalists, former government members, and security personnel. The findings presented by UNAMA serve as a significant indicator of the challenging and profoundly concerning situation unfolding in Afghanistan over the past two years.

The report also indicated that there have been crackdowns on civil society and violations of fundamental human rights based on discriminatory reasons.

The letter highlighted that the Council has addressed similar grave situations as in Afghanistan by setting up inquiries for Syria Ukraine, an investigative mechanism for Myanmar, and a fact-finding mission for Iran.

“By establishing a fully resourced independent investigative mechanism on Afghanistan, the Council will act consistently with its approach to these situations and demonstrate that it can take meaningful steps towards ensuring accountability for violations and abuses committed in Afghanistan,” the statement read.

The letter urged the extension of the Special Rapporteur’s mandate for Afghan human rights. It emphasized the need for substantial action on their report and the Working Group’s report on gender discrimination.