Ahead of the “European Forum for the Protection of Afghans at Risk” to be held on October 7 with the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada, Amnesty International calls on the EU and participating States to evacuate and resettle endangered Afghans from Afghanistan and neighboring countries.
“We have seen a wave of concern for the Afghan people, their plight and their future. Public support for evacuation and resettlement must now be accompanied by political commitments. EU countries have a huge responsibility towards Afghans fleeing the Taliban. Evacuation is still possible and EU countries must do all they can to endanger Afghans safely via land borders. The lives of the thousands of women and men who have worked for the promotion and defense of human rights, gender equality and the rule of law in their countries depend on the mobilization and evacuation of people. Said Eve Geddie, Director of the Office for European Institutions at Amnesty International.
Amnesty International wrote to countries participating in the Forum asking them to redouble their efforts to ensure the evacuation of women activists, human rights defenders, civil society activists, academics, journalists and marginalized groups, as well as than others at increased risk of retaliation from the Taliban. .
Since the Taliban took power in Afghanistan on August 15, they have committed human rights violations with impunity. A recent research report by Amnesty International, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) documented the crackdown on the rights of women and girls, the intimidation of human rights defenders, repression of freedom of expression, reprisals against former officials and possible violations of international humanitarian law. There have been targeted killings of people who previously worked for the government, reports of death threats against family members of those who fled and, despite public statements to the contrary by the Taliban, women and girls are denied access to education and work, and prohibited from engaging in sport or politics.
Countries have already committed to annual resettlement quotas. Afghan evacuation commitments must be added to this number. Any “creative accounting” to fill in the resettlement figures with evacuees would be unacceptable, as the number of places committed is already limited.
“Time is running out and countries participating in the Afghanistan Forum should do whatever is necessary to get people out – whether that is issuing visa waivers and emergency travel documents for people without passports, or by speeding up visa processing to speed up evacuations and reunification with family members in Europe ”
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