The Taliban took over Afghanistan in August 2021 and imposed policies severely restricting basic rights--particularly those of women and girls. They dismissed all women from leadership posts in the civil service and prohibited girls in most provinces from attending secondary school. Taliban decrees prohibit women from traveling unless accompanied by a male relative and require women’s faces be covered in public—including women TV newscasters.

The Taliban have carried out broad censorship, limiting critical reporting, and have detained and beaten journalists. Taliban forces have carried out revenge killings and enforced disappearances of former government officials and security force personnel. They have summarily executed people deemed affiliated with the Islamic State.

Armed groups linked to the Afghan branch of the Islamic State have carried out bombings targeting ethnic Hazaras, Afghan Shias, Sufis, and others, killing and injuring hundreds.

The Afghan economy collapsed after August 2021, as millions of people lost salaries when the US, World Bank, and other donors stripped the Central Bank of Afghanistan of its foreign assets and access to financial assistance. Over 90 percent of the Afghan population faces serious food insecurity, along with a lack of medicine and a rise in malnutrition-related disease.

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