Afghanistan: International community must engage with the new Taliban authority with renewed clarity and determination and not forget the Afghan people: “You are not alone”

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London / Beirut – 09 September 2021

Afghanistan: International community must engage with the new Taliban authority with renewed clarity and determination and not forget the Afghan people: “You are not alone”

Salam for Democracy and Human Rights (SALAM DHR) is engaging with other civil society bodies and organisations in order to develop a substantial, collective civil society appeal in respect to the obligations that now fall on the new Taliban authorities in Afghanistan.

At the core of its outreach, SALAM DHR seeks to extend solidarity with the Afghan people and convey to those both in and now outside the country that the international community stands with them and that they are not alone. 

In its initiative with other NGO bodies, SALAM DHR urges the international community to engage with the Taliban leadership to ensure that in the transition from a non-state, insurgent armed force to that of a responsible government, the new authorities are held accountable for its actions. The organisation calls on the international community to continue to assist vulnerable Afghan people, including, where possible via responsible and accountable local authorities, but urges United Nations leaders to ensure that the new authorities understand that its conduct will be held to international governance and human rights standards, which form a universal moral and ethical code and which find voice in the UN Charter, binding international human rights treaties and customary international law. 

Taliban leaders must understand that they will be held accountable for their conduct and SALAM DHR urges them immediately to acknowledge that:

  • Their government has an unequivocal responsibility to uphold international standards of law and order in Afghanistan, in order to protect the safety and security of every person on Afghan soil;
  • Universal human rights are unconditional, without regard for personal characteristics of identification, including gender, religion, ethnicity, appearance or any aspect of opinion, whether personal or political;
  • The state of Afghanistan is legally bound by treaty obligations and standards of customary international law; and that
  • The international community will pursue alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity, as a result of which individual Taliban leaders and members may face international or even domestic arrest, restriction of their ability to travel or access funding by way of state-imposed ‘Magnitsky’ sanctions.

Further, SALAM DHR calls on the UN leaders and all heads of state and government to undertake to:

  • Withhold any recognition or cooperation with the Taliban authorities unless it undertakes to abide by international human rights obligations; and
  • Establish an independent human rights mechanism at the UNHRC to monitor allegations of crimes under international law and human rights violations and abuses, to overturn a 24 August 2021 initiative at the UNHRC.

Speaking about the SALAM DHR NGO outreach, Andrew McIntosh, Research Director, said: 

“Salam DHR stands with the people of Afghanistan. We stand with the displaced peoples who have been forced to make the agonizing decision of ensuring their safety and the safety of their families at the expense of leaving everything they know and cherish behind. We stand with the victims of persecution and sectarian violence, whose very right to exist is under threat because of their faith and culture. We stand with the brave women of Afghanistan, who continue to empower themselves on their terms.

In the coming months and years, we will endeavour to engage with organisations that will  ensure that Afghans find safe haven and build new lives for themselves and their families both in and outside Afghanistan. Our message to the Afghan people is: ‘You are not alone’.”

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For more information:

Jawad Fairooz (Arabic, English) +44 744 992 6577

Andrew Macintosh (English)  +44 780 125 6685

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