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UN expresses concern over Taliban’s threat to target election gatherings

07 Aug 2019 Afghanistan Times

AT News Report

KABUL: The United Nations has expressed deep concern at the

Taliban’s stated threat to target civilians participating in the 28 September

presidential election process.

According to international humanitarian and human rights

law, the electoral process in Afghanistan is a civilian undertaking and everyone

has the right to take part in public affairs, to vote and to be elected to

government without discrimination and without unreasonable restrictions, the

agency said Wednesday in a statement.

“All citizens – whether voters, candidates or

election-related staff – have the right to be free from fear, intimidation and

violence at all stages of an elections process,” the statement added.

The United Nations urges the Taliban to respect and protect

civilians and not to threaten them or carry out violence should they engage in

their constitutional right to participate in elections.

The United Nations emphasizes that attacks directed against

polling centres and civilians participating in the electoral process are clear

violations of international law, and perpetrators of such crimes must be held


The Taliban group on Tuesday called presidential elections,

slated for 28 September, as misleading and illegitimate, and warned to disrupt

the process. They group called on Afghan masses to stay away from gatherings of

electoral campaigns and rallies.

In a statement, the Taliban said fighters should “stand

against this theatrical and sham of a process to their full capabilities” — a

clear instruction to conduct attacks.

“”To prevent losses, God forbid, from being incurred by our

fellow compatriots, they must stay away from gatherings and rallies that could

become potential targets,” a message posted on the Taliban’s website stated.

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