Introduction of Resolution to Express Solidarity with and Reaffirm the Dire Need to Protect Vulnerable and Minority Populations and Their Allies in Afghanistan Under Taliban Rule

Floor Speech

Date: Feb. 15, 2022
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CARSON. Madam Speaker, I am proud to introduce a bicameral resolution today, to express solidarity with and reaffirm the dire need to protect vulnerable and minority populations and their allies in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. I thank my Senate Colleague, Senator Markey, for his leadership on this urgent human rights issue.

The United States spent over twenty years in Afghanistan, in an endless war. It was crucial that we leave, and I applaud President Biden for commanding this effort and not leaving it as a task for yet another President. There is no good way to end a war without a decisive resolution; however, what we must not do is not leave innocent Afghan people behind. We cannot abandon the innocent women, children and families who have suffered through this war. We have a moral obligation to ensure that they are left with some system of government that respects and honors the international standards of human rights that our country has helped establish.

Reports have shown that Taliban fighters have explicitly targeted religious and ethnic minorities, abusing them with impunity, and have threatened Afghan journalists with violence. Similar reporting shows that the Taliban continue to target LGBTQI individuals, forcing them into hiding due to the threat of physical violence and attacks perpetrated by Taliban fighters. Women, in particular, are facing dire circumstances. Despite promises to the contrary, the Taliban leadership have re-instituted many of the draconian measures that characterized their previous rule. Restrictions on their freedom of movement, punishments for dress code violations, and constraints on their occupational and educational opportunities all severely limit the future of Afghan women--and subject them to gross injustices and violence.

The rapidly deteriorating human rights conditions in the country are exacerbated by the worsening humanitarian crisis, by which vulnerable and minority communities are disproportionately impacted.

I am proud to introduce this resolution today, which calls on the Biden Administration to work closely with the international community and nongovernmental organizations to support at-risk Afghan communities, including efforts to counter the growing humanitarian crisis that unduly impacts already vulnerable groups.

Madam Speaker, I hope my colleagues will join me in calling for the protection of vulnerable and minority communities in Afghanistan under Taliban rule, especially during this humanitarian crisis.

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