The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, said that Afghanistan is facing a "plethora of critical human rights challenges that are having a severe impact on the population.”
Bennett appeared on Thursday at a press conference in Kabul, where he shared the findings of his 11-day visit in the country.
Bennett called on the current Afghan officials to acknowledge the "human rights challenges” and to close the gaps "between their words and their deeds."
Bennett also said that the “de facto authorities have failed to acknowledge the magnitude and gravity of the abuses being committed – many of them in their name."
The UN Security Council appointed Bennett as special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan earlier this month.
“The Taliban stands at a crossroads. Either the society will become more stable and a place where every Afghan enjoys freedom and human rights, or it will become increasingly restrictive,” Bennett said. “If benchmarks are met such, as the urgent opening of secondary schools for girls, the establishment of an inclusive administration that genuinely represents every segment of the Afghan society, and a platform is provided for dialogue and avenues for redressing grievances, the risks of further instability and suffering in Afghanistan may be mitigated.”
He expressed concern over the humanitarian and economic crisis and urged the international community to continue providing humanitarian assistance for Afghanistan.
The UN rapporteur also said that the armed hostilities in many parts of the country had ceased and there was a consequent reduction in conflict-related casualties since the Taliban takeover.
He underscored that the establishment of a commission for the return of Afghan politicians may provide opportunities for dialogue and potentially strengthen governance.