When the Taliban took over power in Afghanistan in the summer of 2021, it was a disaster for women. Immediately, they were stripped of their rights, in particular their political rights. In the third episode of #DefendingTheDefenders, a podcast by Deutscher Anwaltverein and Verfassungsblog, we talk to Shabnam Salehi about the human rights situation in Afghanistan and the rights of women in particular.
Shabnam describes the years leading up to the Taliban coup as a golden era of women’s rights. At the initiative of human rights activists, the government had taken many steps to promote and protect women and their rights. Even more importantly, women have been educated about their rights. While there were many challenges for human rights activists during these years, Shabnam says, a lot of progress has been made. After the Taliban gripped power, they immediately began to push back on women’s rights, but Shabnam explains what the perspectives of human rights activism in and for Afghanistan are and why she remains hopeful.
In the second segment of this episode, we talk to Matthias Lehnert about the shortcomings of the German and European migration law system. The Afghanistan example shows a slow system designed to prioritise perceived security issues over human rights in some cases, Matthias says. Current regulatory proposals also reveal that the work of attorneys is perceived as a threat to this priority rather than an execution of the right to access to justice.