UN rights chief urges Security Council to protect Afghan women
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The UN high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelet, urged the UN Security Council on Tuesday to hold "to account" rights abusers in Afghanistan, especially those targeting women and children.
"I ask all states to use their influence with the Taliban to encourage respect for fundamental human rights," Bachelet told a special Security Council meeting organized by Norway focusing on violence against women.
Since the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan in August, "women human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers and judges have been forced to flee or to go into hiding -– often after repeated threats," she explained.
"I urge the Security Council to ensure that perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses in Afghanistan -– including against women and girls -– are held to account," said the former Chilean president.
Following her, the director of the NGO Woman and Children Legal Research Foundation, Zarqa Yaftali, proclaimed that it was time for the Security Council to break its silence on the millions of Afghans deprived of their rights.