First US troops have started leaving Afghanistan as evacuation effort enters its final week



The United Nations Human Rights Council has called for a “transparent and prompt investigation” into reports of human rights abuses by all parties in Afghanistan, expressing “grave concern” on Tuesday over such violations. 

“The Council stressed the need for transparent and prompt investigation into repots of all violations and abuses committed by all parties to the conflict, and to hold those responsible to account,” the council said Tuesday in a statement.

“The Council expressed grave concern at all violations and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law in Afghanistan and called for full respect for the human rights of all individuals, including women, children and persons belonging to ethnic, religious and other minority groups,” the statement added. 

In its statement, the council urged all parties to the conflict to respect their obligations under international law, to cease violence, and to respect the right to liberty of movement and freedom to leave the country.

The statement comes as thousands – according to the US Pentagon – continue to wait at Kabul’s international airport to be evacuated from the country.

“The Council urged the international community, including donors and international humanitarian actors, to provide adequate urgent humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan and major refugee-hosting countries,” the statement added. 

Speaking on Tuesday, High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet stressed that the “onus is now fully on the Taliban” to uphold its commitment to respect human rights and liberties, and to “translate these commitments into reality.”

“I strongly urge the Taliban to adopt norms of responsive governance and human rights, and to work to re-establish social cohesion and reconciliation,” she added. 

Bachelet also called on members of the international community to create safe pathways for Afghan refugees and migrants, “broaden asylum and resettlement programs,” and “immediately halt the deportation of Afghans seeking protection.”

 



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