South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), a regional network of Human Rights Defenders is deeply concerned of the forcible disappearance of Tamana Zaryab Paryani and Parwana Ibrahimkhil, two women’s rights activists along with several of their family members on the night of 19 January. So far their whereabouts are not known. Taliban has denied any women being held and stated that it has the right “to arrest and detain dissidents or those who break the law.”

Prior to their forcible disappearance, On 16 January, both Tamana and Parawana had participated in a protest against recent Taliban abuses of women protesters and other restrictions on women.  In the aftermath of the return of the Taliban into power, women have engaged in continuous protests against the restrictions and deprivations of girls and women such as banning education, employment and mobility. Right before the forcible abduction, Tamanna has posted a video in social media mentioning that armed men claiming to be the Taliban intelligence were trying to break the door to her dwelling.

Presently, the people in Afghanistan are going through a critical period facing a humanitarian crisis of a massive level. On 23 January, in Oslo, a delegation from the Taliban led by the foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi commenced talks with officials from the US, European Union and other nations as well as members of Afghan civil society. It is reported that in response to a request made by the Afghan activist Hoda Khamosh, the foreign minister had responded that there were bad people among the Taliban whom the Taliban were expelling and such elements may have detained the women and this matter regarding the forcible abduction of WHRDs was under investigation.

Further, SAHR learns that Azeem Azeemi, a human rights activist and three other activists were detained by the Taliban on 18 January, for organising a protest against Pakistani national security Adviser Moeed Yusuf’s visit to Kabul. Subsequently, Yusuf’s visit was postponed due to weather conditions. No information about them has been revealed so far.  

Along with the UN (The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan -UNAMA), other human rights organisations and the activists from Afghanistan, SAHR calls upon the Taliban to immediately provide information on the whereabouts of the Human rights activists and their family members in Kabul.  It also urges the Taliban to conduct a thorough investigation into the forcible abduction of women activists and ensure there will be no recurrence in the future. Further, SAHR firmly demands the Taliban to promptly ensure the rights and entitlements as well as the personal safety of girls, women as well as the human rights defenders in Afghanistan.

On behalf of the members of the South Asians for Human Rights.

Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy

Dr. Roshmi Goswami