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Recognize Status for Afghans Waiting on US Bases

United States President Joe Biden inherited a refugee resettlement program on life support after the administration of former President Donald Trump decimated it. Biden promised to resuscitate the program and raised the refugee admissions ceiling to…
A man walks with a child through Doña Ana Village in Fort Bliss, where Afghan refugees are being housed, in New Mexico on September 10, 2021.
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Support UN Reporting on Abuses; Increase Humanitarian Aid

(Tokyo) – Japan’s government should urgently protect Afghan civilians who are at risk under the new Taliban authorities, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. The Japanese government should also support…
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Questions and Answers

This document was updated on September 9 to reflect that the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service has resumed operations internationally from Kabul airport and some domestic flights are operating. The media reported that on September 9, a…
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Comprehensive Refugee Resettlement Program Urgently Needed

(New York) – All governments should ensure that Afghans at risk of persecution have the opportunity to seek asylum, Human Rights Watch said in a question-and-answer document.  “What's Next for Afghans Fleeing the Taliban” analyzes the legal…
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New Restrictions Indicate Crackdown on Free Speech

(New York) – Taliban authorities in Afghanistan have been detaining and assaulting journalists and imposing new restrictions on media work, Human Rights Watch said today. The Taliban should call a halt to the assaults, drop the restrictions, and…
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Attacks on Education Rose 33 Percent Globally, Prompting Calls for Urgent Action

(New York) – Explosive weapons were used to attack about 40 schools in Afghanistan during the first six months of 2021, as Taliban forces took over key territories, the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) said in a report…
The mother of a schoolgirl who was among those killed in the brutal May 8, 2021 bombing of the Sayed ul-Shuhada girls' school stands inside a classroom with bouquets of flowers on empty desks as a tribute to the dead, in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 16, 2021. 
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Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, thousands of Afghans have been fleeing threats of reprisal and persecution by seeking refuge abroad. Taliban officials have issued vague and doubtful pledges about respecting human rights. Credible reports…
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Rising Hunger; Collapsing Education, Health Systems

(New York) – Afghanistan’s foreign donors should take immediate action to ensure that necessary aid reaches Afghans facing hunger and collapsing health services following the Taliban takeover on August 15, 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. They…
Afghans wait for hours to try to withdraw money from a bank in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 30, 2021. 
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Polish Authorities Should Allow Access to Territory and Asylum Process

While Poland’s government touts its role in the airlift of at-risk Afghans from Kabul, it has trapped 32 Afghans for over 3 weeks at its border with Belarus, preventing them from entering Poland to exercise their right to seek asylum and denying them…
Polish security forces surround migrants at the border with Belarus in Usnarz Gorny, Poland on September 1, 2021. 
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Dodging Responsibility with Hostile Rhetoric and Harmful Policies

Instead of showing leadership and compassion for people fleeing Taliban rule in Afghanistan, European Union leaders seem bent on a monstrous PR campaign to tell Afghans (and European voters) that those fleeing Afghanistan should not even think about…
Polish soldiers build a fence with concertina wire at the border with Belarus in Krynki, Poland, on August 27, 2021.
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Now that evacuations from Kabul’s airport have ended and the last foreign troops have gone, the focus shifts to the long-term human rights crisis in Afghanistan. The issue is what life will be like in Afghanistan—especially for women and girls—and what…
Women gather to demand their rights under Taliban rule during a protest in Kabul, Afghanistan on September 3, 2021.
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Bolster Rights Monitoring; Ensure Sanctions Don’t Impede Humanitarian Aid

(New York) - The United Nations Security Council should renew the UN mission in Afghanistan and bolster its capacity to monitor, investigate, and report on human rights abuses in the country since the Taliban takeover, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Taliban fighters stand guard at a checkpoint in the Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood of Kabul, Afghanistan on August 22, 2021.
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(New York) – Human Rights Watch joined Access Now, Amnesty International USA, and Mnemonic today in issuing the following statement, saying that social media platforms need to preserve and archive content that may provide evidence of past or ongoing…
The YouTube video sharing application is seen on an iPhone with the symbol for unavailable content in the background in this photo illustration
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Many Unable to Flee Afghanistan Face Grave Risks

Yesterday’s bombing at Kabul’s international airport has drastically curtailed evacuation flights for at-risk Afghans. The effort was already winding down, after getting out some human rights defenders, women’s rights activists, journalists,…
Two men hold guns while riding in the back of a truck through a city street
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International Community Needs to Increase Efforts to Help Afghans at Risk

A set of bombing attacks at the southeast gate of Kabul’s international airport on Thursday killed over 60 Afghans and at least 12 US soldiers, and wounded many more. The airport’s gates have reportedly now been closed, apparently bringing an end to…
Smoke rises from an explosion outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 26, 2021.
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August 31 Departure Leaves Many Fearing Persecution Behind

Thousands of Afghans fearing persecution by the Taliban remain waiting outside Kabul’s airport, or sheltering in their homes, hoping be evacuated out of Afghanistan. But the United States-led multinational airlift is about to wrap up.…
People inside an aircraft line up to disembark
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Human Rights Watch statement to HRC Special Session on Afghanistan

For years, the people of Afghanistan have faced violations and abuses by all parties to the conflict. In recent weeks, abuses by the Taliban have escalated. Even before their takeover of Kabul on August 15, Taliban forces were already committing…
Taliban fighters stand guard at a checkpoint in the Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood of Kabul, Afghanistan on August 22, 2021.