OHCHR / AFGHANISTAN HUMAN RIGHTS

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10-Sep-2021 00:02:37
The UN human rights office (OHCHR) said peaceful protesters across various provinces in Afghanistan over the past four weeks have faced an increasingly violent response by the Taliban, including the use of live ammunition, batons and whips. UNTV CH

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STORY: OHCHR / AFGHANISTAN HUMAN RIGHTS
TRT: 2:37
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 10 SEPTEMBER 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1. Wide shot, Palais des Nations exterior
2. Wide shot, Podium briefing room Palais des Nations Geneva
3. Wide shot, podium and screen
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“As Afghan women and men take to the streets during this time of great uncertainty in their country to press peacefully for their human rights to be respected – including women’s right to work, to freedom of movement, to education and political participation – it is crucial that those in power listen to their voices.”
5. Med shot, journalists
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We call on the Taliban to immediately cease the use of force towards, and the arbitrary detention of, those exercising their right to peaceful assembly and the journalists covering the protests.”
7. Wide shot, briefing room
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“According to credible reports, during these three days when protests took place, the Taliban reportedly killed a man and a boy, and injured eight others, when firing in an apparent attempt to disperse the crowds. On Tuesday this week (7 Sep), during a protest in Herat, the Taliban reportedly shot and killed two men and wounded seven more. That same day in Kabul, credible reports indicate that the Taliban beat and detained protesters, including several women and up to 15 journalists.”
9. Med shot, journalist
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“On Wednesday, 8 September, reports emerged that as a largely female group of demonstrators gathered in the Dashti-Barchi area of Kabul, the Taliban arrested at least five journalists and severely beat at least two of them for several hours. There were also reports that during a demonstration in Faizabad city held by several women, including activists and human rights defenders, the Taliban fired in the air and allegedly beat several of the protesters.”
11. Med shot, videographer
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We recall that peaceful protests are protected under international human rights law, including under Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Afghanistan is a State Party. Authorities must ensure a safe, enabling and non-discriminatory environment for the exercise of human rights, including freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. Blanket restrictions on peaceful assemblies constitute a violation of international law. Journalists involved in reporting on assemblies must not face reprisals or other harassment, even if an assembly is declared unlawful or is dispersed.”
13. Med shot, journalists
14. Wide shot, press room

STORYLINE:

The UN human rights office (OHCHR) said peaceful protesters across various provinces in Afghanistan over the past four weeks have faced an increasingly violent response by the Taliban, including the use of live ammunition, batons and whips.

Speaking to reporters in Geneva today (10 Sep), OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said, “As Afghan women and men take to the streets during this time of great uncertainty in their country to press peacefully for their human rights to be respected – including women’s right to work, to freedom of movement, to education and political participation – it is crucial that those in power listen to their voices.”

OHCHR called on the Taliban to “immediately cease the use of force towards, and the arbitrary detention of, those exercising their right to peaceful assembly and the journalists covering the protests.”

Protests have been taking place since 15 August and were increasing in number until Wednesday evening’s instruction on the prohibition of unlawful assemblies. Reports indicated a growing resort by the Taliban to the use of force against those involved in or reporting on the demonstrations.

From 15 to 19 August, people gathered in Nangarhar and Kunar provinces to mark national flag-raising ceremonies.

Shamdasani said, “According to credible reports, during these three days when protests took place, the Taliban reportedly killed a man and a boy, and injured eight others, when firing in an apparent attempt to disperse the crowds. On Tuesday this week (7 Sep), during a protest in Herat, the Taliban reportedly shot and killed two men and wounded seven more. That same day in Kabul, credible reports indicate that the Taliban beat and detained protesters, including several women and up to 15 journalists.”

She added, “On Wednesday, 8 September, reports emerged that as a largely female group of demonstrators gathered in the Dashti-Barchi area of Kabul, the Taliban arrested at least five journalists and severely beat at least two of them for several hours. There were also reports that during a demonstration in Faizabad city held by several women, including activists and human rights defenders, the Taliban fired in the air and allegedly beat several of the protesters.”

The OHCHR spokesperson recalled that peaceful protests are protected under international human rights law, including under Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, “to which Afghanistan is a State Party.” She said, “Authorities must ensure a safe, enabling and non-discriminatory environment for the exercise of human rights, including freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. Blanket restrictions on peaceful assemblies constitute a violation of international law, as do blanket internet shutdowns which usually violate the principles of necessity and proportionality. Journalists involved in reporting on assemblies must not face reprisals or other harassment, even if an assembly is declared unlawful or is dispersed.”
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