NEW YORK : The US announced additional visa restrictions Wednesday on the Taliban regime in response to bans on women’s rights.
“I am taking action today to impose additional visa restrictions on certain current or former Taliban members, members of non-state security groups, and other individuals believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, repressing women and girls in Afghanistan through restrictive policies and violence, including the Taliban’s decision to ban women from universities and from working with NGOs,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
“The immediate family members of such persons may also be subject to these visa restrictions,” he said.
Blinken said the Taliban has again shown disregard for the welfare of Afghan people through their decisions.
“So far, the Taliban’s actions have forced over one million school-aged Afghan girls and young women out of the classroom, with more women out of universities and countless Afghan women out of the workforce,” he said. “These numbers will only grow as time goes on, worsening the country’s already dire economic and humanitarian crises.”
He said the Taliban cannot expect the respect and support of the international community until they respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Afghans, including women and girls.
“We condemn in the strongest of terms the Taliban’s actions. The United States stands with the Afghan people and remains committed to doing all we can to promote and advance respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Afghans, including women and girls,” he added.
Afghanistan de facto authorities have moved to close universities to female students across the country until further notice and barred girls from attending secondary school, restricted women and girls’ freedom of movement, excluded women from most areas of the workforce and banned women from using parks, gyms and public bath houses.
The Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan on Aug. 15, 2021, followed by the disruption of international financial assistance, has left the worn-torn country in economic, humanitarian and human rights crises.
Women and girls have been deprived of rights, including the right to education and disappeared from public life under the Taliban. — AA