UN: Taliban’s treatment of women to mark ‘red line’ – Live News

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UN: Taliban’s treatment of women to mark ‘red line’ – Live News

Michelle Bachelet urges the Taliban to honour commitments to respect the rights of women and girls.

About 50,000 foreigners and Afghans have been airlifted [British Ministry of Defence/handout via AFP]


Tamila Varshalomidze

24 Aug 2021

The UN rights chief has voiced grave concern at the situation in Afghanistan under the Taliban, urging them to honour commitments to respect the rights of women and girls.

“A fundamental red line will be the Taliban’s treatment of women and girls, and respect for their rights to liberty, freedom of movement, education, self expression and employment, guided by international human rights norms,” Michelle Bachelet


a special session of the UN Human Rights Council on Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, about 16,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan over the past 24 hours, according to the Pentagon, as US troops lead an increasingly desperate effort to airlift thousands more before the Taliban’s “red line” for Western forces to leave the country.

US President Joe Biden is under increasing pressure to extend an August 31 deadline to pull out American forces, with Britain expected to lobby for that at a virtual G7 summit on Tuesday.

Here are all the latest updates:

3 mins ago (08:58 GMT)

One Afghan evacuated to France now in custody: Minister

Five Afghans who were evacuated from Kabul to France were placed under surveillance due to suspected links to the Taliban and one of them is in custody for failing to comply with a stay at home order, according to the French interior minister.

“More than a thousand Afghans, some hundred French nationals have been taken from Kabul to Abu Dhabi and from Abu Dhabi to Paris,” Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin told Franceinfo radio.

“Among those 1,000 Afghans, one was supposedly – and I do say supposedly – linked with the Taliban. But he helped a lot, the French army, French citizens, journalists … We put him and his friends under surveillance on their arrival in France to clear up any doubt,” he said.

“One of those five persons left the place we asked them to stay in, he was taken into custody yesterday, which shows the security services are closely monitoring those individuals”, he added.

A military plane takes off from the Hamid Karzai International Airport [Stringer/EPA]

8 mins ago (08:53 GMT)

Spain warns will have to leave people behind in Afghanistan

Spain will not be able to rescue all Afghans who served Spanish missions in Afghanistan because of the “dramatic” situation on the ground, Defence Minister Margarita Robles says.

“We will evacuate as many people as possible but there are people who will stay behind for reasons that do not depend on us, but on the situation there,” she said during an interview with news radio Cadena Ser.

“It is a very frustrating situation for everyone, because even those who reach Kabul, access to the airport is very complicated,” she added.

“The Taliban are becoming more aggressive, there is gunfire, violence is more obvious,” she said. “The situation is frankly dramatic and besides with each passing day it is worse because people are conscious that time is running out.”

People attempt to get into the Hamid Karzai International Airport [Stringer/EPA]

16 mins ago (08:45 GMT)

Evacuations from Afghanistan in pictures

US troops are leading an increasingly desperate effort to airlift thousands of people out of Kabul after the Taliban warned they would allow foreign forces to carry out evacuations for just one more week.

See the pictures



20 mins ago (08:41 GMT)

EU to quadruple humanitarian aid for Afghans

The European Union will ramp up humanitarian support for Afghans in and around their country to more than 200 million euros ($234m) from over 50 million euros ($58m), the head of the EU’s executive Commission says.

“This humanitarian aid will come on top of member states’ contributions to help the people of Afghanistan,” Ursula von der Leyen said on Twitter, adding that she would announce the additional support at a G7 summit later in the day.

The aid will be conditional on the respect of human and women’s rights, according to an EU official, who said this would determine how much money would flow into Afghanistan directly or into neighbouring regions.

24 mins ago (08:37 GMT)

UN rights chief says has credible reports of Taliban executions

The top UN human rights official Michelle Bachelet


that she had received credible reports of serious violations committed by the Taliban in Afghanistan, including summary executions of civilians and restrictions on women and on protests against their rule.

Bachelet urged the UN Human Rights Council, holding an emergency session at the request of Pakistan and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), to set up a mechanism to closely monitor Taliban actions.

“A fundamental red line will be the Taliban’s treatment of women and girls,” she told the Geneva forum.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet speaks during a special session of the Human Rights Council on the situation in Afghanistan [Denis Balibouse/Reuters]

34 mins ago (08:27 GMT)

Airbnb houses 20,000 Afghan refugees for free

Airbnb has announced the company will begin housing 20,000 Afghan refugees globally for free.

“To make this happen, we are working closely with Airbnb.org, NGOs, and partners orgs on the ground to support the most pressing needs,” said Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s co-founder and CEO.

40 mins ago (08:21 GMT)

Australia airlifts more than 1,600 people in 17 flights

Australian Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said that Australia has helped evacuate more than 1,600 people from the Kabul airport in 17 flights since last Wednesday.

“We have achieved this by working very closely with the United States and the United Kingdom, among other nations,” Andrews told Parliament on Tuesday.

The evacuated people include Australian citizens, Afghan nationals who had worked for the Australian government during the 20-year conflict and other countries’ nationals. The Australian government has not said how many people it planned to evacuate from Afghanistan.

People flee their homes and travel on Kandahar-Kabul highway [Akhter Gulfam/EPA]

50 mins ago (08:11 GMT)

Norway: Evacuation deadline should be extended

Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide says the evacuation deadline in Afghanistan should be extended beyond August 31.

“One of a main concern is that the airport will be closed,” Eriksen Soereide told Norwegian broadcaster TV2. “The civilian part is closed now, so we are completely dependent on the US military operation being maintained in order to be able to evacuate.”

She spoke as a plane with 157 people who had been evacuated from Afghanistan landed in Oslo. So far Norway has evacuated 374 people from Afghanistan.

“There is no guarantee that we will be able to help all Norwegian citizens who want assistance this time around,” she told Norway’s other broadcaster NRK, adding Norway will continue the evacuation as long as the airport in Kabul is open.

60 mins ago (08:01 GMT)

Pakistan urges ‘inclusive’ deal with Taliban

Pakistan’s foreign minister says that an inclusive political settlement is the best way forward for peace and stability in Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover. Pakistan fully supports efforts in that direction, he added.

According to a foreign ministry statement, Shah Mahmood Qureshi made the remarks in a phone call with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, about the situation in Afghanistan.

The statement says Qureshi told Lavrov that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was of critical importance for Pakistan and the region. It said Qureshi informed Lavrov about Pakistan’s outreach to regional countries for consultations on the challenges arising out of developments in Afghanistan.

2 hours ago (06:49 GMT)

British defence secretary: Kabul evacuation extension ‘unlikely’

British defence secretary Ben Wallace says it is “unlikely” the evacuation operation from Kabul airport will be extended past the August 31 deadline.

Wallace told broadcaster Sky News: “Not only because of what the Taliban has said but if you look at the public statements of President Biden I think it is unlikely. … It is definitely worth us all trying, and we will.”

2 hours ago (06:42 GMT)

Egypt evacuates more than 40 citizens from Kabul

Egypt has evacuated more than 40 of its citizens from Afghanistan, according to state-run media.

A report by the official MENA news agency said a military plane carrying Egyptian citizens from Kabul landed in Cairo late on Monday.

The flight brought home 43 evacuees, including Egyptian embassy staff and clerics from Al-Azhar, the Sunni Muslim world’s foremost religious institution. State TV showed footage of the returnees with Egyptian flags after they landed in Cairo.

The satellite image shows large crowds along the eastern edge of Kabul airport [File: Evelyn Hockstein/Maxar Technologies/AFP]

3 hours ago (06:30 GMT)

16,000 evacuated from Kabul airport in past 24 hours: Pentagon

About 16,000 people have been evacuated over 24 hours through Kabul airport, the Pentagon said on Monday, as the US works towards completing its airlift by an August 31 deadline.

General Hank Taylor told reporters that 61 military, commercial and charter flights involving a number of countries flew out of Hamid Karzai International in the 24 hours to 3am Monday (07:00 GMT).

Of the total evacuated that day, 11,000 were via US military airlift operations, Taylor said.

3 hours ago (06:29 GMT)

US House intel panel chair: Evacuation not likely to be done by deadline

US House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff says – after a briefing by intelligence officials – he thinks it is unlikely the evacuation will be completed by an August 31 deadline.

“I think it’s possible but I think it’s very unlikely given the number of Americans who still need to be evacuated,” Schiff said.

3 hours ago (06:23 GMT)

British gov’t to discuss criminalising entering Afghanistan: The Telegraph

The British government will discuss proposals to blacklist Afghanistan, which would allow UK authorities to jail British citizens or residents for up to 10 years if they visit it, The Telegraph newspaper reports.

“We’re looking at every option available at this stage about how we proceed in the future,” the newspaper quoted a source as saying. The proposals will be discussed later this week.

Read the August 23 updates





Al Jazeera and news agencies

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