Safeguard women’s rights and create humanitarian corridors for Afghanistan

Safeguard women’s rights and create humanitarian corridors for Afghanistan. Appeal to the European Union by the Global Committee for the Rule of Law “Marco Pannella”

The withdrawal of Western countries from Afghanistan resulted in an inexorable return of the Taliban regime and the loss of hard-won rights and freedom described by Zarqa Yaftali, executive director of the Women and Children Legal Research Foundation: in Afghanistan, “women can now participate in political, cultural and social decision-making processes. The Afghanistan Constitution has enshrined gender equality. Women occupy positions in the national and provincial councils, as well as in the national assembly and courts.”

The rapidly changing reality marks a retreat riddled with abuses, suffering and incalculable loss of human life to which the West cannot remain indifferent after twenty years of deep commitment. Today the European Union can and therefore must exert its full political-diplomatic influence to secure the results achieved in the field of human rights, especially as regards the rights of women and girls who have finally experienced years of relative progress towards inclusion and peace.

We urge that in all multilateral contexts involving the EU, President Ursula Von Der Leyen and President Charles Michel make sure that all interactions with the Taliban – and with new regional and global organizations showing interest in the situation – occur solely on the basis of the Afghan acquis guaranteed today by the Constitution, with particular reference to articles 44 and 53 ensuring the fundamental rights of women, and by the resolutions of the United Nations, specifically Res. 1325. This is the indispensable precondition that every democratic government should put as a starting point for a dialogue with the next leaders of Afghanistan.

Furthermore, as short-term objectives, recalling the principle of humanitarian responsibility and reiterating the importance of the Afghan acquis in international agreements, we underline the urgency to create a humanitarian evacuation action for women and journalists – guardians of culture and of the freedom of expression of thought – and, in general, of all those who today find themselves exposed to danger for having worked in various capacities with Western countries. The EU should immediately open humanitarian corridors: a safe air bridge to save and guarantee the existence of those who have participated in the social, political and military progress of Afghanistan. In line with the appeal launched to the Taliban by Western nations to allow safe exit for those wishing to leave, we have the obligation to ensure that all Afghan citizens who wish to do so, be able to travel to one of the EU Member States and find refuge. We also reiterate our heartfelt appeal for a moratorium on the death penalty in order to prevent kangaroo courts and summary executions from taking place.

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