Human rights

Rights groups urge UN to impose travel ban on Taliban leaders

The United Nations Security Council has long banned international travel for a number of Taliban leaders, but under the Donald Trump administration a waiver was granted in order to redress talks between world leaders. However, human rights groups have called on authorities to isolate the Taliban amid reports they are restricting women’s rights in Afghanistan. While sanctions are still in place against the Taliban, the travel ban will be discussed by the council next week as talks continue. Human rights agencies have also received support from some members of the Joe Biden administration who favor the waiver expiring on June 20.

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According to The Guardian, 41 members of the Taliban administration are currently affected by the travel ban while the waiver applies to 14 of them in order to continue discussions.

“It is a false dichotomy to suggest that ending the travel ban exemption means giving up engaging the Taliban. It is time for governments to transform the consensus that Taliban actions are illegal into coordinated actions that show the Taliban that the world is ready to stand up for the rights of Afghans, especially women and girls, in a meaningful way,” Heather Barr of Human Rights Watch said.

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According to the Guardian report, the groups want the travel ban opened strictly to three members of the Taliban administration – Abdul-Haq Wassiq, the head of the intelligence agency; Sheikh Muhammad Khalid Hanafi, head of the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice; and Haibatullah Akhundzada, the main religious leader of the Taliban.

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