The Islamic Emirate denied the claims in a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Afghanistan, saying that the human rights situation has become better compared to the previous years in the country.
“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,” said deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate, Bilal Karimi.
HRW in its World Report 2022 released on Thursday said the political change in Afghanistan on August 15, 2021 -- the fall of the former government and the Islamic Emirate's return to power -- accelerated human rights crises and humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan.
The report furthered 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 the fall of the former government.
According to the report, restrictions on women's right to work and girls’ right to education were rolled back after the political change. 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.
“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?” said Naveeda Khurasani, a women rights activist.
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.
“A freeze on Afghanistan’s currency reserves and the loss of foreign aid accelerated an economic collapse, leaving millions of Afghans at risk of famine. The collapse of the country’s health services meant that many Afghans faced a loss of most physical and mental health care,” the report reads.
“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."