March 24, 2023

The United Nations Mission in Afghanistan has accused Taliban authorities of intimidating and harassing female personnel working in the country, including detaining three women for questioning on Monday.

Since the Taliban took power in August last year, they have imposed strict restrictions on girls and women to conform to their strict view of Islam, effectively pushing them out of public life.

“There is an emerging pattern of harassment of Afghan female UN personnel by the de facto authorities,” the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a statement.

Citing an example, UNAMA said three Afghan women who worked for the organization were “selected and temporarily detained for questioning” by armed security officers from the authorities on Monday.

The company did not provide further details about the incident.

“The UN calls for an immediate end to all such forms of intimidation and intimidation targeting Afghan female personnel,” UNAMA said, urging authorities to provide guarantees for the safety of all UN personnel in Afghanistan. .

Government spokesman Bilal Karimi rejected the UN’s accusation.

“The information released by UNAMA is not true…no one has been arrested,” Karimi said in a statement to reporters.

“There was a meeting of women in Kandahar, and when the women were asked for explanations, it turned out that they were UN employees and they were released.”

Karimi didn’t say what the meeting was about or how many women were there.

UNAMA’s charge came hours after a top UN expert warned that the human rights situation in the country had deteriorated across the board.

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Women and girls, in particular, have seen a “staggering decline” in their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights since the Taliban came to power, said Richard Bennett, the special rapporteur for human rights in Afghanistan, in Geneva.

“There is no country in the world where women and girls have been deprived of their basic human rights so quickly, purely because of gender.”

The Taliban have imposed strict regulations on women, including closing high schools for girls in most provinces and barring women from many government jobs.

They have also ordered women to cover up in public, preferably with an all-encompassing burqa.

These restrictions on women’s rights are an obstacle for the international community to formally recognize the Taliban government.