Statement on human rights crisis in Afghanistan

Statement on human rights crisis in Afghanistan

The Scottish Human Rights Commission is gravely concerned about the humanitarian and human rights crisis situation in Afghanistan and is urging the UK Government to urgently assist Afghan human rights defenders from its sister National Human Rights Institution (NHRI), the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC).

The Commission has joined with its sister UK National Human Rights Institutions, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Equality and Human Rights Commission, in a letter to the Foreign, Commonwealth Development Office urging them to provide the necessary visas, entry arrangements and logistical support to enable them to relocate to the United Kingdom.

As an active member of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI), the global network of National Human Rights Institutions, the Commission stands in solidarity with our partner member, is extremely concerned for the safety of its staff and Commissioners, and urges the UK Government to urgently grant its request for assistance.

The Commission welcomes the Scottish Government’s commitment to play its full part and do all it can to provide refuge for vulnerable Afghans. Scotland has an important role in supporting refugees, welcoming those fleeing conflict, persecution and human rights violations, and upholding their right to seek asylum. Taliban rule in Afghanistan raises grave human rights concerns, particularly for women and girls. 

The Commission echoes calls from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for all possible support and safe passage for human rights defenders in Afghanistan and hopes Scotland can play its part by welcoming those fleeing persecution.