Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

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Human Rights Situation in Afghanistan: October – December 2023 Update

2 min

UNAMA, 22 January 2024

This is another update on Afghanistan’s human rights situation under the Taleban. UNAMA’s main findings include:

  • Hundreds of Afghan women were forced to quit their jobs or have been arrested and denied access to essential services in the last quarter of 2023, a UN report revealed on Monday, as Taliban officials continue undermining their basic human rights.
  • For example, de facto authorities “banned” approximately 400 women workers at a pine nut processing plant in Nangrahar province from the workplace and dismissed another 200 at a power plant in Balkh province
  • The Mission also noted that women were arrested for purchasing contraceptives and that unmarried female staff at a healthcare facility were “advised” to get married by officials from the Department for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, or risk losing their jobs
  • Many women were also not allowed to board buses or go to work because they were unmarried or because they did not have a mahram o accompany them in public
  • several women were arbitrarily arrested in Kabul and other locations for “not wearing proper hijab”; most were released after their mahrams signed a guarantee that they will adhere to the hijab decree in the future.
  • the de facto authorities continued to infringe the right to freedom of expression by limiting the opportunity to seek, receive and impart information and ideas, for example, on 14 December, by instructing all universities and private education institutions to remove books which are considered against the laws of Hanafi jurisprudence
  • four women’s rights activists and three staff of a radio station were arrested between September and December simply for doing their jobs; one rights activist remains in detention and one journalist was sentenced to a year in prison.
  • that Amr bi-l-Maruf “announced that the celebration of Yalda (winter solstice) is prohibited as it is considered to be unislamic”
  • “A draft law on the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has been sent to the Taliban leader for approval. If approved, the law would define the detention power (of up to three days) by the de facto Ministry and its provincial and district inspectors. The draft law also establishes the de facto Ministry’s powers to monitor a wide variety of issues, including making inquiries regarding the non-implementation of court decisions, complaints against the independence of the judiciary and legal proceedings that are not resolved within the timelines outlined by the Taliban leader.”
  • “UNAMA Human Rights continues to record extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and detentions, and torture and ill-treatment of former government officials and ANDSF members and
  • “arbitrary arrests and detentions of human rights defenders and media workers.

The report also looks at “targeted attacks against Hazaras”, “Forced expulsions of Afghans from Pakistan”, corporal punishment and the Taleban’s application of ‘justice.’


Human Rights Taleban UNAMA