PESHAWAR: The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHRC) has voted to appoint a special investigator to probe crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by the Taliban and other groups in Afghanistan.
The decision was made at a special meeting of the agency, saying that special investigator will take office in March next year. The contract to appoint the auditor was submitted by the European Union and was put to a vote on Thursday. Six of the agency’s seven member states voted in favor of the agreement and the appointment of a special auditor but five
countries, including Pakistan, China and Russia, voted against the decision.
Fourteen other member states abstained from voting but it was still approved by a majority vote. The EU agreement states that UN legal, criminal, humanitarian and women’s rights experts will assist the Special Investigator in this matter.
The Afghan Taliban told the media in response to the announcement that it expected the United Nations will hold accountable all those who had oppressed and destroyed the Afghan people over the past 20 years. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid’s secretary, Bilal Karimi, told: “Our people have been made homeless and disabled or killed over the past several decades. They have been deprived of all the rights under international law.”
Amnesty International has welcomed the UN announcement and said it expecting “even more serious action” given he seriousness of the situation in Afghanistan. “Afghanistan needs an independent and international mechanism for investigating, documenting and prosecuting all those who has committed crime against humanity in Afghanistan.” The Amnesty International says UN special investigators will at least be able to monitor the human rights situation in Afghanistan.
A few days ago, the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that it would launch an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Taliban and ISIS in Afghanistan. The Taliban regained control of Afghanistan last August and have since been accused of breaking promises of a “general amnesty” and conducting field trials. The group is accused of killing innocent and unarmed people in Kandahar, Ghazni, Panjshir and Daikundi provinces.
But the Taliban has denied the allegations, saying the international community should not make a one-sided judgment and send teams to Afghanistan for a transparent investigation.