Taliban must stop violence on demonstrators, reporters, says UN rights agency

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Representative image
Representative image

Geneva [Switzerland], September 10 (ANI): The Taliban must stop resorting to violence and the persecution of peaceful demonstrators and reporters covering rallies in Afghanistan, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said on Friday.

This comes after the Taliban banned all unauthorized protests, slogans, and demonstrations after witnessing several rallies in different Afghan cities, including a women's march in Kabul against the all-male government.

"We call on the Taliban to immediately cease the use of force towards, and the arbitrary detention of, those exercising their right to peaceful assembly and the journalists covering the protests," OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said.

Taliban members have killed an adult and a child and wounded eight people while firing at crowds of protesters in the Nangarhar and Kunar provinces from August 15-19, the spokesperson said, citing "credible reports."

She also mentioned outbreaks of violence on Tuesday, including the one in Kabul, which resulted in the beating and arrest of several people, including women and up to 15 reporters. Another rally in Herat saw the Taliban militants kill two people and injure seven others, she said.

Shamdasani also listed beatings and detentions of journalists and protesters in the Kabul area and the Badakhshan province this past Wednesday, citing reports.

"We recall that peaceful protests are protected under international human rights law, including under Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Afghanistan is a State Party," the spokeswoman said.

The UN rights agency called on the Taliban to ensure that the right of Afghans to participate in public affairs, including through peaceful rallies, are respected, instead of banning such gatherings. (ANI)

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