KABUL: The Taliban-led government in Afghanistan has denied a new Human Rights Watch (HRW) report which said that the fall of the country to the new regime has accelerated human rights crises and humanitarian catastrophe.
In a statement on Friday, Taliban deputy spokesman Bilal Karimi alleged that the human rights situation has become better compared to the previous years in the country, TOLO News reported. "We deny it because since the Islamic Emirate swept into power, the rights of women have been maintained. These reports are published based on false information," Karimi added. HRW in its World Report 2022 released on Thursday said the political change in Afghanistan on August 15, 2021 accelerated human rights crises and humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan. The report further said that the two most significant achievements of the post-2001 era – progress in women's rights and a free press – were rolled back after Taliban takeover.
The HRW also raised concerns over what it called further restrictions against women. "These included measures severely curtailing access to employment and education and restricting the right to peaceful assembly," the report reads.
Reacting to the report, Naveeda Khurasani, a women rights activist, said: "The Islamic Emirate has banned many women workers from going to work. So, now what should those women who are the breadwinners of the family do?"
The narrowing of space for media and journalists to operate is another point highlighted by HRW as a result of the political change, saying it has led to self-censorship and the closing of many media outlets in the country. "Many media outlets closed or drastically scaled back their reporting, partly because many journalists had fled the country," the report reads.
The report also states that the fall of the former government and subsequent political developments worsened the humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan, as the country's central bank assets were frozen abroad, development aid was cut off and banking systems were disrupted. "Junior job posts should be formed. There should be investment in the banking system to counter the economic situation in the country," said Khwaja Fahim Abbas, a political analyst.
In the 753-page report, HRW reviewed human rights practices in nearly 100 countries. The report has characterized the human rights situation in Afghanistan as a "crisis". (IANS)