UN rapporteur calls for investigation into attacks on Shiites

VSThe attacks appear to be systematic in nature and include elements of an organized policy. They therefore bear the mark of international crimes and must be thoroughly investigated.said Richard Bennett, during the presentation of his first report to the UN Human Rights Council.

The Shiite community, which is essentially Hazara and represents between 10 and 20% of the Afghan population (about 40 million inhabitants), has been persecuted for a long time in this country with a Sunni majority.

“They have been victims of attacks for years, often claimed by EI-K (the Islamic State-Khorasan, the regional branch of EI, editor’s note)”Bennett explained.

The mandate he holds was created about a year ago by the Human Rights Council, almost two months after the Taliban took power, but is up for renewal on October 6 or 7.

“The Hazara and Shia communities are one of the most severely persecuted groups. Their members have been arbitrarily arrested, tortured, summarily executed, displaced from their traditional lands, and they are subject to discriminatory taxation and otherwise marginalized”denounced Bennett.

Security in Afghanistan has greatly improved since the Taliban took power and the withdrawal of American troops, after 20 years of attrition against their military presence.

However, attacks still occur regularly and are mainly claimed by EI-K, which mainly targets the Afghan religious minorities Shiite, Sufi and Sikh.

ISIS considers the Shia minority heretical.

On the occasion of the presentation of his report, Bennett also denounced “the significant rollback of the rights of women and girls, the reprisals against opponents and critical voices, and the repression of freedom of expression”so many factors that lead the country “on the road to authoritarianism”.

“In no other country have women and girls disappeared so rapidly from all spheres of public life”he said.

While welcoming the fact that he was received by the de facto Afghan authorities during his visit in May, Bennett reminded them of their obligations under international treaties to which Afghanistan is a party and expressed the hope that continue this dialogue and go there “soon”.

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