A senior Republican on Thursday criticized the Biden administration for failing to protect Afghan girls with a “muted” response that only six Taliban felons were blacklisted for abusing young women.
President Joe Biden is already under close scrutiny as Republicans launch an investigation into his handling of the 2021 withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Rep. Mike McCaul, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the government’s measures to protect girls were “appalling” and demanded tougher action.
“Most disturbingly, these limited visa restrictions have been the government’s sole response to the Taliban’s horrific treatment of women and girls, despite President Biden’s pledge to hold the Taliban accountable,” he wrote in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
“I urge the government to take more significant steps to respond to the Taliban’s inhumane treatment of women and girls, including by imposing broader visa restriction sanctions on Taliban officials.”
The Taliban took control of the country in August 2021 when US troops left.
The Taliban have reversed two decades of progress since taking control of the country in August 2021. Girls suffered the most, excluded from secondary education and above
Last month, Foreign Minister Antony Blinken announced visa restrictions on Taliban officials who prevent girls from attending school. Rep. Mike McCaul, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said only six figures were sanctions and demanded tougher action
Since then, the country’s brutal new rulers have rolled back two decades of progress.
They have banned women and girls from going to university or high school. Women are not allowed to visit parks in Kabul or use gyms across the country.
Women have to wear head and body headscarves and can no longer work in most sectors. They must be accompanied by a male chaperone if they travel more than 75 kilometers (46 mi).
Blinken announced new measures last month.
“I am taking action today to impose additional visa restrictions on certain current or former Taliban members, members of non-state security groups and other individuals believed to be responsible for or complicit in the repression of women and girls in Afghanistan,” he said. . .
A day later, his spokesman Ned Price gave more details. He said six individuals have been punished for denying girls access to education and work or for violating their human rights.
“Due to visa secrecy laws, we cannot name the individuals covered by this policy,” he said.
McCaul could barely contain his outrage in the letter.
McCaul exposes his frustration with the government in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken demanding tougher action against Taliban thugs who prevent girls from attending school
Women are prevented from taking up jobs and require male chaperones for long journeys
“A total of eight Taliban members are currently legally barred from entering the United States,” he wrote.
“This is appalling given that the State Department regularly imposes much more extensive visa restrictions on other malicious actors.”
In contrast, he added, the department imposed visa restrictions on more than 500 officials of the Nicaraguan regime last year for obstructing democracy in just one day.
Last month it emerged that the Taliban had begun enforcing a blanket ban on all forms of contraception in two of Afghanistan’s two largest cities, according to Afghan media, in the latest crackdown on women’s rights.
Pharmacies and doctors in capital Kabul and fourth-largest city Mazar-e-Sharif confirmed to women-led Afghan outlet Rukhshana Media that Taliban officials have ordered them not to sell contraceptives.
President Joe Biden continues to be closely watched over the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan
The actions have put more pressure on Biden administration officials.
Karen Decker, the top US diplomat in Afghanistan, recently had to delete a tweet. Afghan women needed some ‘Black Girl Magic’ while being oppressed under Taliban rule.
She added that perhaps celebrities like Beyonce and Lizzo could share wisdom with Afghan women, who have been essentially completely excluded from school and work since the Taliban takeover.
Decker, the chargé d’affaires of the US mission in Afghanistan, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday: “Are Afghans familiar with #BlackGirlMagic and the movement it inspired? Do Afghan girls need a similar movement? What about Afghan women?’
‘Teach me, ready to learn. @Beyonce @lizzo @ReginaKing,” it read.
She apologized after deleting the messages.