In reaction to European Union concerns over human rights violations in Afghanistan, Zabihullah Mujahid, deputy minister of the Ministry of Information and Culture of the caretaker cabinet, said on Monday that if the international community recognizes the new government, they will address the concerns over allegations of human rights violations.
“As long as we are not recognized, and they make criticisms (over rights violations), we think it is a one-sided approach. It would be good for them to treat us responsibly and recognize our current government as a responsible administration. Afterward, they can share their concerns lawfully with us and we will address their concerns,” Mujahid told TOLOnews.
Mujahid’s remarks come after the ambassador and head of the EU delegation in Afghanistan, Andreas Von Brandt, on Sunday said the EU is deeply concerned over human rights violations in Afghanistan, especially the violation of women and girls’ right to education and work.
"The substance of my criticism remains: human rights are under threat in Afghanistan, particularly the right to education and right to work,” Brandt tweeted.
Saleem Paiger, leader of the Hizb-e-Mutahid-Fikre Mardum Afghanistan, meanwhile said the Taliban should not make investigations into allegations about human rights violations a condition for world recognition. “The Taliban are Afghans, but they should not take such issues hostage as a condition to be recognized by the world,” he said.
Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) issued a statement on Sunday saying it has not been able to fulfill its duties since the collapse of the former government on August 15, adding that Taliban forces have occupied its offices and are using its equipment.
The AIHRC called on the UN Human Rights Council to establish an independent body for monitoring human rights violations in Afghanistan and called on the Taliban to respect human rights. “The AIHRC call upon the Taliban to respect the independence of the AIHRC and its staff and all Afghan human rights defenders, who have worked tirelessly to protect the fights of the Afghan people,” reads the statement.
Reacting to this, Mujahid said AIHRC is not an international body, and added that they have started investigations into allegations regarding the occupation of AIHRC buildings. “AIHRC belongs to the former Kabul administration, and it was an official body in that time and it is not an international human rights body. However, we will see who has used their office and how. Investigations are ongoing,” Mujahid said.
Previously, Human Rights Watch and other international organizations voiced their concerns over reported violations of human rights by Taliban forces, but the Taliban has always rejected the allegations.