The Taliban commit to respect human rights in exchange for the end of the financial blockade

The Taliban government intends to release the money from the reserves of the Central Bank of Afghanistan
In this Aug. 15, 2021 file photo, Taliban fighters take control of the Afghan presidential palace after President Ashraf Ghani fled, in Kabul, Afghanistan

AP/ZABI KARIMI  -   In this Aug. 15, 2021 file photo, Taliban fighters take control of the Afghan presidential palace after President Ashraf Ghani fled, in Kabul, Afghanistan

Ahmed Wali Haqmal, spokesman for the Ministry of Finance, reported that human rights will be respected, as well as the right of women to education, on the condition that the financial blockade is ended.

According to Reuters sources, Haqmal reported that "The money belongs to the Afghan state. Just give us our money. Freezing these funds is an unethical act that goes against all international laws and values."

Afghanistan is in a major crisis not only financially, but also migratory, whose inhabitants are forced to flee or face constant famine and human rights violations.​​​​​​​

Una mujer afgana con el tradicional burka camina por el arcén de una carretera mientras un APC (vehículo blindado de transporte de personal) de la Alianza del Norte, se dirige a una nueva posición en las afueras de Jabal us Seraj, a unos 60 km al norte de la capital afgana, Kabul, el 4 de noviembre de 2001

As a result, the Taliban are calling for an end to the blockade, pledging to respect human rights.

A Central Bank official said that in order to avoid a massive emigration to Europe, European countries should release their funds from Afghan reserves. 

Funds deposited by Afghanistan in central banks in Europe, and in the U.S. Federal Reserve, have been frozen since last August, when the Taliban occupied the territory and overthrew the government.

Delegados talibanes frente a un avión de Qatar Airways en un lugar no identificado de Afganistán, en esta foto de mano subida a las redes sociales el 8 de octubre de 2021
Comunicado en las redes sociales/vía REUTERS

The Taliban's recent commitment to respect human rights raises a number of questions in the international community given their track record.

To a greater extent, the international community remains attentive to the Taliban government's moves regarding women's rights, as they were previously violated, and suspicion remains that this will happen again. 

The Taliban regime is considered a strict and radical interpretation of Islam, which seeks to diminish the presence of women in public spaces, and to completely eliminate their existence in the labor and educational spheres. 

The previous Taliban government was in place from 1996 to 2001. During those years, women were forced to cover their bodies completely with a loose-fitting garment and without wearing bright colors, to leave their homes only with the presence of a "mahram", and were denied the right to education and work, among other restrictions. 

Suhail Shaheen, portavoz de los talibanes

After 20 years since the last Taliban rule, women were able to gain, at a much slower pace than other countries, a number of inherent rights such as education, work, or the freedom to decide not to wear a burqa. 

After the occupation of Afghanistan, Afghan women began to protest against the Taliban regime and the restrictions they were forced to carry out.

Last September, Afghan women led a social media campaign in which they wore traditional dresses of different colors as a symbol of protest under the hashtags #AfghanistanCulture and #DoNotTouchMyClothes.