Afghanistan: New UN Report stresses urgent need for Taliban to roll back on moral policing

Responding to a new report by the United Nations Assistance Mission (UNAMA) in Afghanistan on the sweeping gross violations of human rights by the Taliban’s so-called de-facto Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (MPVPV), Zaman Sultani, regional researcher for South Asia at Amnesty International, said:

“This report lays bare the role of the Taliban’s MPVPV in violating various human rights and fundamental freedoms in Afghanistan. Its arbitrary, inconsistent and ambiguous record of morally policing the people of Afghanistan, with an institutionalized system of discrimination that disproportionately impacts women and girls, has had a decaying effect on human rights in the country.

“Amnesty International shares the UN’s call to the de-facto Afghan authorities, to guarantee the rights of freedom of expression, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, right to health and work, among a host of other fundamental rights and freedoms as guaranteed under the international human rights treaties to which Afghanistan is a State party. The prevalent impunity for the Taliban’s gross violations of human rights and crimes under international law must be ended.

“Further, the United Nations must establish a dedicated independent international accountability mechanism to investigate crimes under international law and other serious violations in Afghanistan as well as to collect and preserve evidence for future accountability efforts and prosecutions, in addition to extending and fully resourcing the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan. They must also ensure that gender justice is prioritized and the involvement of women human rights defenders and civil society stakeholders remains central in all engagements with the Taliban on the future of Afghanistan. To fail to do so would be to turn our backs on the victims and their rights to truth, justice and reparation.”


The UNAMA`s July 2024 report titled, De Facto Authorities’ Moral Oversight in Afghanistan: Impacts on Human Rights, outlines the negative impact that the activities and expanding role of the de facto MPVPV has had on the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms in various aspects of private and public life for people living in Afghanistan, with a discriminatory and disproportionate impact on women. This along with the unpredictability of enforcement measures, contribute to a climate of fear and intimidation among segments of the population.

Amnesty International has documented that the Taliban`s draconian restrictions on the fundamental rights of women and girls, together with the widespread use of arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, torture and other ill-treatment, may amount to the crime against humanity of gender persecution.

Amnesty International has also documented that the Taliban have consistently shown that they are unwilling to hold to account their members suspected of responsibility for crimes under international law and other serious human rights violations.