File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )
The lack of clear information on the location and well-being of these and other individuals perpetuates a climate of fear and uncertainty
United Nations Human Rights Office on Tuesday expressed concern over kidnapping of six individuals who disappeared earlier this month in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan. The abductions took place following recent women's rights protests.
On January 19, Parwana Ibrahim Khil and her brother-in-law were abducted while travelling in Kabul, while Tamana Paryani and her three sisters disappeared from their home.
Both women had taken part in a peaceful demonstration on January 16 calling for respect for women`s rights.Since then, there have been reports coming in of house searches of other women in relation to their participation in protests.
The lack of clear information on the location and well-being of these and other individuals perpetuates a climate of fear and uncertainty.These reports have also brought into focus what appears to be a pattern of arbitrary arrests and detentions, as well as torture and ill-treatment, of civil society activists, journalists and media workers, and former Government and security forces personnel in Afghanistan.
"We are very alarmed at the continued disappearance of six people who were abducted in Kabul two weeks ago in connection with the recent women`s rights protests... Despite the de facto authorities` announcement on Saturday of an investigation into the disappearance of these individuals, there is still no confirmed information on their whereabouts," UN Human Rights Office Spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told a press briefing in Geneva.
She also called on the Taliban "to publicly report on the findings of their investigation into the abduction and disappearance of these women activists and their relatives, to take all possible measures to ensure their safe and immediate release, and to hold those responsible to account.
"Since the Taliban seized power in Kabul in August last year, the international community repeatedly expressed concern for women`s rights in Afghanistan. Afghan women have staged several protests in the country since the outfit came to power to demand rights, including work and education."
(With inputs from agencies)