Afghanistan: Human rights must be at the heart of the peace process

As the United States of America and the Afghan Taliban are poised to sign a peace agreement in Doha today, Amnesty International’s South Asia Researcher, Zaman Sultani, said:

“No one desires peace more than the people of Afghanistan, who have suffered so much over the past four decades of conflict. Any peace process involving the parties to the conflict in Afghanistan must not ignore the voice of victims. It must not disregard their calls for justice, truth and reparation for war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious human rights violations and abuses – committed by all sides in the conflict. It must also guarantee the rights of women and girls, and the rights of religious minorities in Afghanistan.

Any peace process involving the parties to the conflict in Afghanistan must not ignore the voice of victims
Zaman Sultani

“Despite many serious and ongoing challenges, Afghanistan has made significant human rights achievements on different fronts that must be protected and should not be reversed. These include the right to walk the streets freely, without civilians being killed or injured. The right of women to leave their homes, work and marry freely without discrimination. The right of teachers to work and the right of children, especially girls, to get an education. The rights of journalists and human rights defenders to express themselves freely and carry out their important work without fear of reprisals.

“A peace process must put human rights at its heart.”