UN human rights expert decries ‘descent towards authoritarianism’ in Afghanistan

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A UN expert on Monday said that human rights had deteriorated under the Taliban, describing a “descent towards authoritarianism” and calling for radical changes.

“The severe rollback of the rights of women and girls, reprisals targeting opponents and critics, and a clampdown on freedom of expression by the Taliban amount to a descent towards authoritarianism,” Richard Bennett, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, told a Human Rights Council meeting.

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The mandate to monitor human rights violations in Afghanistan was established by the Geneva-based council almost a year ago in the aftermath of the Taliban takeover last August and is now up for renewal.

Read more: Taliban must change course, uphold rights of girls, women, EU says

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