A US-based research organization, Freedom House, has released a report on human rights conditions in Afghanistan.
The organization says that at least 90 percent of human rights defenders said they have experienced violence and mistreatment.
“Afghan human rights defenders live in fear and face grave challenges, whether they remain in the country or have fled abroad,” said Michael Abramowitz, head of Freedom House. “The international community must redouble its support for these activists’ tireless efforts to create a freer and more just Afghanistan.”
The survey of 663 Afghan human rights defenders was conducted between May and June 2022 and offers one of the clearest pictures to date of the dire conditions endured by human rights defenders in the aftermath of the August 2021 collapse of Afghanistan’s elected government.
Before the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan, the country was home to numerous groups and individuals who advocated for the rights and protection of all Afghans, including women, religious minorities, and marginalized communities, the report says.
Islamic Emirate rejected the findings of the report as untrue.
“Neither of them has been sent behind bars nor have they been tortured. The reports and claims that are being made in this regard are untrue. We reject it,” said Zabiullah Mujahid, Islamic Emirate's spokesman.
Analysts called the activities of human rights defenders important to monitor the government’s actions.
“Every society needs human rights defenders to ensure justice and they play an important role in this regard,” said Aziz Maarij, a legal affairs analyst.
“They treat in a way which is out of our Islamic and cultural format. They should consider this issue,” said Rohgul Afghan, a human rights defender.
This comes as international organizations have also expressed concerns over the human rights situation in Afghanistan, specifically the rights of women and girls.