New Zealand’s Ardern urges Taliban to stand up for human rights – .

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New Zealand’s Ardern urges Taliban to stand up for human rights – .


WELLINGTON, Aug.16 (Reuters) – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday pleaded with Taliban leaders to stand up for human rights in Afghanistan by allowing women to continue working and studying and letting foreigners and Afghans who wish to leave the country.

Taliban fighters took control of the presidential palace in Kabul on Sunday evening as US-led forces left and Western countries rushed to evacuate their citizens. Read more

“I once again implore those who have taken these steps in recent days to recognize what the international community has demanded – human rights and the security of their people,” Ardern said at a press conference in the capital Wellington.

“What we want to see is that women and girls can access work and education. These are things that were traditionally not available to them where there was Taliban governance, ”she said.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addresses her supporters at a Labor Party event in Wellington, New Zealand, October 11, 2020. REUTERS / Praveen Menon / File Photo

Ardern said the situation in Afghanistan had deteriorated much faster than expected. Efforts are underway to evacuate New Zealanders and some Afghans who have worked with New Zealand agencies, she said.

About 37 Afghans have been identified as having worked alongside the New Zealand Defense Force, Ardern said. Efforts would be made to evacuate these people and their dependents, she said, adding that a C-I30 military plane and accompanying personnel would be dispatched to assist with the evacuation.

The Taliban issued a statement saying they would protect people’s lives and property and create a peaceful and secure environment. They also announced an amnesty for all who worked for foreign forces led by the United States or the former government.

“The whole world is watching. The Taliban are making statements about what kind of administration they want to be. We implore them to allow people to leave safely, ”Ardern said.

“It’s not about trust – it’s all about actions, not words,” she said.

Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Christopher Cushing, Robert Birsel

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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