AfghanistanWomen & Human Rights

UNAMA: Detaining girls for not observing the hijab is humiliating and dangerous

Bayan News – Rosa Otenbaya, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), has expressed her reaction to the detention of girls for not observing the Islamic hijab, describing it as humiliating and dangerous.

UNAMA reported on Friday (January 11) that Otenbaya stated, “The arrests come with a great stigma that puts Afghan women at even greater risk. This undermines public trust.”

The organization continues to refer to the detention of girls and women as arbitrary and expresses strong concerns about the behavior of the authorities.

According to UNAMA’s message, “Since January 1, UNAMA has documented a series of enforcement campaigns of the hijab rules by the Ministry of Virtue and the police in Kabul and Daykundi provinces.”

The United Nations Deputy Office stated that numerous women and girls have been warned or detained in Kabul, and women and girls have been detained in Daykundi province as well.

UNAMA further added that to ensure freedom, a male guardian or a Mahram is required to sign a letter guaranteeing future compliance, otherwise, penalties will be imposed. “UNAMA is also investigating claims of payments made for release,” it said.

Expressing concerns about the current suppression of women due to self-imposed fear of detention, UNAMA emphasizes that these actions push girls and women further into isolation.

The United Nations Deputy Office stated, “UNAMA has raised these issues directly with the authorities and called for the immediate release of detainees.”

The organization emphasizes to the Taliban that Afghanistan remains a state party to seven key international human rights instruments and that the United Nations Security Council has called on the Taliban to swiftly reverse policies and practices that restrict women and girls’ access to human rights and fundamental freedoms.

However, in the past two weeks, Taliban security forces have detained a large number of women and girls in various parts of Kabul for not observing the hijab.

Simultaneously with these actions, Taliban officials have stated that a group of girls was assigned by external circles to promote unveiledness in Kabul.

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