Roza Otunbayeva, the UN's special representative for Afghanistan, on Human Rights Day urged the Islamic Emirate to stop restricting Afghans' basic rights, especially those of women and girls.
“As we mark Human Rights Day, we recall that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, the United Nations in Afghanistan is urging the de facto authorities to stop restricting the basic rights of Afghans, especially those of women and girls, because those who govern have an immense responsibility as duty-bearers to every woman, man, girl and boy. This year we also mark the countdown to the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Roza Otunbayeva said.
Some women's rights activists in the country on International Human Rights Day asked the Islamic Emirate for the right to work, travel, and to get an education.
"The Emirate gives no attention to the demands of women. We now ask the Islamic Emirate to open dialogue with Afghan women ... Afghan women have engaged in variety of activities during the previous 20 years,” said Laila Basim, a women’s rights defender.
"Cultural and educational institutions should be reopened, so that we women can continue our activities in many fields: politics, trade, and industry, and we can once again gain glory to our nation,” said Sakina Rezaie, a women’s rights defender.
The Chargé d'Affaires of the US Mission to Afghanistan, Karen Decker, said that Washington will advocate for the rights of all Afghans.
“The US continues to advocate for the rights of all Afghans regardless of their gender, ethnicity, religion, and ability. We talked to Afghan human rights defenders yesterday, some of the bravest people I know. They are championing access to education, the right to work & the protection of Afghanistan’s diverse population. I urge Kandahari leaders to support their efforts & join the int’l community’s ongoing efforts to deliver dignity, freedom & justice for all,” Decker tweeted.
However, the Islamic Emirate said that it is committed to the rights of Afghan citizens based on Islam.
"Nearly 100 percent of our people are Muslim, and the rights of the Muslims are ensured in an Islamic country, the rights of all the citizens,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman of the Islamic Emirate.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights places an emphasis on individual freedoms, basic and equal human rights, and freedom of speech and life.
According to the UN, this year’s Human Rights Day also marks the beginning of the countdown to the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted after a year-long consultation process involving thinkers from 60 countries. Afghanistan was among the original 48 nations to vote for the Declaration on 10 December 1948 at the UN General Assembly meeting in Paris.
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