Hague in Washington: Afghan talks should safeguard Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights's rights

Ahead of William Hague’s first trip to the United States as the new Foreign Secretary (Friday 14 May), Amnesty International is urging him to prioritise safeguarding Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s rights in scheduled talks on Afghanistan.

Mr Hague’s visit to Washington comes ahead of a “Peace Jirga” in Afghanistan where reportedly the Afghan government will pursue talks with elements of the Taleban and other armed groups.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

“It’s right that William Hague is prioritising Afghanistan in his first days in the job but he needs to be extremely careful that the rights of Afghan Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights are not traded away in any future talks with the Taleban.

“With the Karzai administration’s own record on defending human rights already extremely patchy, the UK’s voice in Washington should be a cautionary one.

“Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in Afghanistan are scared stiff that they will be sacrificed to secure a peace deal with the very people that robbed them of human rights a decade ago.”

Meanwhile, Amnesty is also urging the Foreign Secretary to use his first visit to Washington to raise the issue of Shaker Aamer, the UK resident still imprisoned without charge at Guantánamo Bay after more than eight years.

Kate Allen added:

“If Mr Hague can secure a US promise of Shaker Aamer’s return to the UK then this first visit will indeed have been a profitable one, not least for Mr Aamer’s long-suffering British wife and his four Children's rights.”

Meanwhile, Amnesty is calling on the UK government to seek the release of another Guantánamo prisoner - Ahmed Belbacha - an Algerian national who has previously lived in the UK. Amnesty is concerned that if he is forcibly sent from Guantánamo to Algeria, Ahmed Belbacha would be at risk of torture or imprisonment.

View latest press releases