Excellency, Mrs. Roberta Metsola, president of the European Parliament

To: His Excellency, Mrs. Roberta Metsola, president of the European Parliament

Subject: “Afghan Women’s Day”  

Dear Mrs. Roberta Metsola,

Federation of Afghan Resident Organizations in Europe (FAROE) is a platform of tens of social and cultural organizations of European Afghans. FAROE has been active in various European countries for more than 20 years, in areas like asylum rights and social and political participation of Afghans in the social live of Member States of European Union. The organization, at the same time, has taken a responsible look at the developments inside Afghanistan and tried to contribute in the process of building democracy and human rights in Afghanistan by organizing conferences and seminars to involve Afghan diaspora in this process. 

It seems that the Taliban do not see the contradiction between their interpretation of Islam and the needs of 21stcentury Afghanistan. The group is trying to reshape Afghanistan according to their own ideology. They people of Afghanistan are not happy with this situation but can confront the violent Taliban with bare hands.  Only a group of educated women, grown in the democratic sphere of last two decades, resist the plans of the Taliban to deny Afghan women their civil, economic, and cultural rights. We are very proud of these young women. FAROE welcomed the initiative of Your Excellency and your European Parliament colleagues to hold the “Afghan Women’s Day” on the first and second of February 2022. This confirms the commitment of European Union towards Afghan women. The EU has repeatedly promised not to leave the people of Afghanistan in difficult times they experience since the Taliban seizure of power. 

Following are our suggestions on the occasion of “Afghan Women’s Day”:

  1. Taliban, with its explicit human rights violations, particularly breach of articles 1, 2, 3, 5, 9 and 12, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, deprive the people, especially the women and young girls of Afghanistan from their fundamental human rights and social and economic rights such as education, work, travel, sport, art and trade. They attack and harass women protesters and journalists trying to cover their protest demonstrations. The Taliban authorities prosecute activist women, detain them without a legal reason and torcher them. This has caused pain and suffering for the families of protesting girls and this generation in general.
  2. 2. The Taliban promise a lot, particularly when they are talking with the West. But they continue repression of the people and deny them their rights. We suggest that the current UN reports mechanism should be upgraded to UN fact finding mission. European Union office currently stationed in Kabul, can collaborate with UNAMA, to establish a fact-finding committee to identify and monitor human rights abuses and other cruelties committed by Taliban gunmen, against the women protesters and other civilian in the country. 
  3. Repression of the spontaneous protest movement of women in Jalalabad, Herat, Ghazni, Mazar-e Sharif and Kandahar raised concern among the Afghan community in Europe and the greater part of the European people.  Since the Taliban’s occupation of Kabul, women’s protests have been launched until ten days ago, with threats and intimidation, the latest protests were silenced by the arrest of dozens of girls and members of their families, and the attack on the Media Federation yesterday was also a shock for the Afghan community in Europe. A UN fact finding mission can prevent or examine such violations by the Taliban. 
  4. 3. European Union is expected to use its all power to continue political and diplomatic pressure on Taliban. Before Oslo meeting there was some rumors about possible recognition of the Taliban government by the West. Fortunately, it did not happen, but Afghans showed dissatisfaction about it in social media. The West should not give away this effective instrument. At least not before realization of the right of education, work and political rights of women and ensuring the rights of minorities by insisting on elected government. 
  5. 4. Ban on the flight of the by UN blacklisted terrorists in EU airspace: Europe as the center and starting point of current-World civilization has a moral duty to insist on application of the common decisions taken by the UN Security Council concerning bans on blacklisted terrorist organizations and persons. Afghan community living in Europe is strongly concerned about the visit of Anas Haqqani, senior advisor to his brother Sirajuddin Haqqani the leader of infamous Haqani Network and minister of interior, responsible for dozens of operations and mass murders of not only Afghans, but also hundreds of NATO soldiers and aid workers. 
  6. FAROE underlines the demands of women participating on behalf of protest-women in the Oslo meetings concerning formation of an independent commission of qualified observers by the UNAMA and the European Union Office, based in Kabul. The commission should include affected families and victims of crimes, and representatives of the people and human rights organizations to monitor the Taliban’s behavior, to control Taliban prisons, to meet with ideological, gender-based political prisoners. 
  7. It is important not tot forget supporting the International Criminal Court by insisting on Investigating war crimes committed since 2003, the year of membership of Afghanistan in ICC. It is impossible to get real and sustainable peace, without justice for the victims and their families. 

External Relations Committee of 

Federation of Afghan Resident Organizations in Europe