PE 4665 : Human Rights Dr. Sachi Dastidar
Assignment 1: Web Sites and Interest Groups
Human Rights Violations in Afghanistan
Since the departure of the Soviets from Afghanistan basic human rights of the Afghanistanis have not just been trampled on but summarily done away with. After the widespread destruction of the power struggle, the ruling party, the Taliban, have committed atrocities against the people of Afghanistan that few would believe still exist in the world today. Especially targeted are the Shiite minority and the women of Afghanistan. Despite every effort of the Taliban to limit reporters and documentation of the crimes being committed, there is tremendous information being made public worldwide. The violations present a unique situation in the world and command reaction from the world at large.
What has become norm these to Afghanis are straight out of a horror movie for most of the civilized world. The Taliban regime has enacted their own form of justice under the banner of Islam. This news piece from the capital tells of a typical day of sentencing, severed hands and feet of thieves hanging in the busiest part of the town to serve as a warning to others. One of the most unique punishments is for the sodomists. The presumed guilty stands in front of a wall, which is bulldozed on him while a crowd watches.
Rawa, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, was started under the Soviet rule. These women campaigned against the atrocities of the Soviets and brought to public view their heinous crimes. Since their departure this group has enlarged its scope to include resistance to the fundamentalists as well as the mistreatment of the women and girls of Afghanistan. The Taliban have been especially cruel towards women since they believe women should not be allowed to work or go to school. Women and girl who still pursue these goals are frequently stopped by the morality police and beaten or worse. The Rawa org. is doing an incredible job exposing these violation under their harsh circumstances.
In May of 1999, the Taliban suppressed a coup by the Iran backed Hezb-e-Wahdat(shiite group). After the confrontation, they thought it would be prudent to seek out all of the Hazaras Shiite minority living in Herat. The Taliban went on an armed house-to-house search of the entire town. As the located all of the Shiite minority in the town they were publicly executed, and some were imprisoned. This chapter is just an example of the extreme hatred of the Shiites in Afghanistan by the Taliban. Pakistan has been the only safe haven for the thousands of Shiites fleeing persecution from the Taliban regime.
August 1998, the last big city, Mazur-I Sharif fell to the Taliban. As they entered the city, the Taliban fired on anything that moved, civilians were killed by the thousands. As the retreating opposition fled they also fired rockets without care and human rights watch believe that hundreds of noncombatants were killed. Since the Soviet with drawl from Afghanistan. About half of the country’s pre-war population is internally displaced or dead. Pakistan and the CIA are still the largest suppliers of weapons to both sides of the conflict. Land mines indiscriminately placed are still taking their toll of civilians, mostly children. Afghanistan has been the place of the most horrible violations of civil rights and laws of war since the Soviets left.
Despite the worst abuses of human rights including a special apartheid for women, Afghanistan enjoys special relations with some in the U.N. and U.S. corporations. Companies are striking deals from oil pipe lines to crop subsidies and their interest are being protected by peoples in the U.N. and the U.S. government. Also, Afghanistan’s biggest cash crop, opium poppies are being used to fund their weapons purchases. Weapons that are used to kill their own countrymen and women. This site questions U.S. involvement with the Government that has no regard for the basic human rights especially one that treats women as second-class citizens.
Emma Bonino the European Unions top humanitarian describes to us the horrors that Afghanis face everyday under the Taliban rule. Women have been especially mistreated in the guise of protecting them. No longer are women allowed to even leave their house without a male member of their family escorting them. The punishment for which is being imprisoned or even beaten. Women cannot work or go to school.
Under the pretext of protecting them, women are always segregated. Which wouldn’t be a problem unless this excluded them from medical attention, as is the case. Due to the harsh conditions, including public beatings, imprisonment as well a general feeling of fear they must live in the Afghani women are amounting a heavy toll on their mental well being. There is an increase in the rate of suicide and depression among these women. As well as increased prostitution because they cannot find legal work and are single or widowed. For these women there in no escape from their tyrannized lives.