Afghanistan: local and international organizations call on the UN Human Rights Council to establish an independent investigative mechanism

In an open letter to the United Nations Human Rights Council, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and 72 other organizations urge the Council to, amongst other things, renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, and establish a parallel independent investigative mechanism during its upcoming 54th session.

This is a call from human rights defenders and civil society organizations inside and outside Afghanistan developed through participatory interviews, conducted with human rights defenders to get their views on the 54th session of the Human Rights Council between 11 September and 13 October. The collected recommendations have been endorsed by a wide range of civil society organizations inside and outside Afghanistan as well as international human rights NGOs working on Afghanistan.

The organizations take this opportunity to write to the UN Human Rights Council regarding the dire human rights situation in Afghanistan and the urgent need for accountability for gross and systematic human rights violations and abuses, including crimes under international law. The last two years have been marked by increased reprisal killings, summary executions, torture and ill-treatment, arbitrary detentions, and enforced disappearances, not only of human rights defenders, journalists and artists, but also of at least 800 former government officials and members of the national security forces, as documented in the most recent report by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

We call upon Member and Observer States of the Council to once again stand together with the people of Afghanistan, and on the side of victims and survivors who deserve the chance to be heard and to have access to justice.


Read the full letter:

English version

Farsi version

Pashto version

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