UN Rapporteur meets local officials in Panjshir

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The UN special rapporteur for Afghanistan’s human rights, Richard Bennett, met with local officials in Panjshir, a local official said.

Bennett said that the purpose of his visit was to address concerns about the human rights situation in the province, according to Nasrullah Malik Zada, head of Panjshir’s culture and information department.

Mohammad Hassan Hashemi, Panjshir governor, said in the meeting that the human rights situation is better than in previous years, Zada said.

“Today, the UN special rapporteur arrived in Panjshir and met with the governor. The governor of Panjshir described the current humanitarian situation in Afghanistan as much better than in recent decades,” Zada said.

Political analysts said they believe that Bennett’s visit to Panjshir is a positive step.

“The government paved the way for Richard Bennett’s visit to Panjshir.

It is a good step because transparency is important for Richard Bennett’s work. This is a positive signal for Afghanistan,” said Torek Farhadi, a political analyst.

This is Bennett’s first visit to Panjshir.

Meanwhile, The UN Special Rapporteur for Afghanistan’s Human Rights, Richard Bennett, met with senior officials of the Islamic Emirate in Kabul.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Abdul Qahar Balkhi, said that Bennett met with acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi.

Balkhi on Twitter quoted Bennett as saying that in order to express and report the situation factually, he (Bennett) must see everything with his own eyes and so he traveled to Afghanistan.

“Regarding the human rights situation, Muttaqi said that the warlords, kidnappers and land grabbers cannot suppress the rights of anyone,” said Billa Karimi, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate.

The office of the 2nd Deputy Prime Minister said on Twitter that Mullah Abdul Salam discussed with Bennett issues including providing security to ethnic minorities, education, and the rights of women and the media.

Political analysts gave various opinions regarding Bennett’s meetings with Islamic Emirate officials.

“The visit of the UN special rapporteur to Kabul shows that the UN and the international community are concerned by the human rights situation in Afghanistan and concerns are rising in this regard,” said Wahid Faqiri, an international relations analyst.

“The rights of humans, which is a general issue, is important to discussed and it is also effective,” said Mohammad Khalid Musaleh, a political analyst.

Earlier, the UN Human Rights Council renewed the mandate for Bennett to serve as UN special rapporteur.

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