The Taliban have imposed strict rules on the behavior of women in Afghanistan since their return to power in 2021, particularly with regard to public life
Kabul (AFP) – The United Nations mission in Afghanistan has accused Taliban authorities of intimidating and harassing its female staff working in the country, including detaining three women for questioning on Monday.
Since the Taliban seized power in August last year, they have imposed severe restrictions on girls and women to comply with their hardline version of Islam – effectively keeping them out of public life.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a statement: “There has been an emerging pattern of harassment of Afghan female United Nations staff by de facto authorities.”
Citing an example, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said three Afghan women working for the organization were “selected and temporarily detained for questioning” by the authorities’ armed security men on Monday.
No other details of the accident were given.
“The United Nations calls for an immediate end to all acts of intimidation and harassment targeting its Afghan staff,” the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said, insisting that the authorities provide guarantees for the security of all UN staff in Afghanistan.
Government spokesman Bilal Karimi rejected the UN accusations.
Karimi said in a statement to reporters: “The information published by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan is incorrect… No one has been arrested.”
“There was a gathering of women in Kandahar, and when the women were asked for an explanation, it turned out that they were employees of the United Nations, after which they were released.”
Karimi did not say what the gathering was about or how many women attended.
UNAMA’s accusation came hours after a senior UN expert warned of the deteriorating human rights situation in the country in general.
Richard Bennett, the special rapporteur for human rights in Afghanistan, said in Geneva that women and girls in particular have seen a “staggering decline” in their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights since the Taliban came to power.
“There is no country in the world where women and girls are so quickly deprived of their basic human rights solely because of their gender.”
The Taliban imposed strict rules on women, including closing girls’ secondary schools in most provinces and preventing women from holding many government jobs.
They also ordered women to cover up in public, preferably wearing an all-encompassing burqa. these restrictions on women’s rights have emerged as an obstacle for the international community to officially recognize the Taliban government.