Solidarity with the people of Afghanistan

27 August 2021

The Socialist International expresses its solidarity with the people of Afghanistan following the deadly terrorist attack at Kabul airport that claimed the lives of many civilians, including children, and military personnel securing the area. We mourn the loss of life and condemn this horrific attack in the strongest terms. There is never any justification for acts of terrorism, and the SI rejects this latest act of violence and the ideology and objectives of Islamic State in Khorasan Province, which has claimed responsibility. The terror attack was particularly heinous in its targeting of desperate and vulnerable people fleeing Afghanistan, in fear for their lives and futures following the takeover by the Taliban.

The return to power in Afghanistan by the Taliban is a grave setback for the development of the country and the advances made in terms of peace, democracy and human rights. There are already documented reports of serious violations of international humanitarian law and the imposition of restrictions by the Taliban in spite of their public statements to the contrary. The SI is particularly concerned at the implications of Taliban rule for the day-to-day lives of women and girls in Afghanistan and their right to personal liberty, freedom of movement, education, self-expression and employment. The international community must be vigilant to abuses of human rights in Afghanistan under the new regime, and work in conjunction with the UN Human Rights Council to monitor and prevent continued violations of fundamental rights and freedoms and the oppression of women and girls, ethnic and religious minorities and political opponents. Those who wish to leave Afghanistan following the withdrawal of US and NATO forces must be allowed to do so without fear of persecution and reprisals.

The Socialist International and its member parties call on the international community to offer their support to the civilian population of Afghanistan, beyond the immediate efforts being made to evacuate vulnerable and at risk civilians, using all available means to safeguard the well-being of who remain in the country. The security crisis in Afghanistan is exacerbating the existing humanitarian challenges faced in ensuring adequate food and medical supplies for the Afghan population, and a concerted international effort will be required if aid and humanitarian relief is to reach populations in desperate need of assistance.

Afghanistan cannot develop and prosper while continuing to lack basic security and while the human rights of its citizens are routinely violated. The SI, in line with its fundamental principles on democracy, sovereignty and human rights, will continue to advocate for an Afghan-led process of peace and reconciliation with the support of the international community. A sustainable and just solution to the decades of conflict in Afghanistan will only be achieved through an inclusive process that takes into account the political, humanitarian, human rights and development tracks.