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Afghanistan: Women, activists, journalists and academics urgently need protection from Taliban

Responding to the collapse of the Afghan government following the seizure of power by the Taliban and the chaotic scenes at Kabul airport as thousands of people attempt to leave the country, Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said:

“What we are witnessing in Afghanistan is a tragedy that should have been foreseen and averted. It will only be compounded further without swift and decisive action from the international community. Thousands of Afghans at serious risk of Taliban reprisals - from academics and journalists to activists and women human rights defenders – and are in danger of being abandoned to a deeply uncertain future. 

“Foreign governments must take every necessary measure to ensure the safe passage out of Afghanistan for all those at risk of being targeted by the Taliban. This includes expediting visas, delivering support for evacuations from Kabul airport, providing relocation and resettlement, and suspending all deportations and forced returns. We urge the US to provide continued security at the airport while evacuations are ongoing.

“As Afghanistan’s people face up to a stark new reality, the UN Security Council must also adopt an emergency resolution calling on the Taliban – who now effectively control the country – to respect international human rights law, protect civilians, and end reprisal attacks, as negotiations on transitional arrangements continue.”

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