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UN Body to Hold Debate on Afghan Women 06/25 08:02


   GENEVA (AP) -- The U.N.'s top human rights body is to hold an urgent debate 
next week to discuss the erosion of rights of women and girls in Afghanistan 
since the Taliban takeover nearly a year ago.

   Human Rights Council spokesman Rolando Gomez said Friday that the 
Geneva-based rights body was expected hold the debate on July 1 as part of its 
ongoing summer session, following a request for the discussion by the European 
Union and France.

   In a letter seeking the session, the EU and French ambassadors wrote that 
they were "profoundly concerned about the growing erosion of respect for human 
rights and fundamental freedoms of women and girls by the Taliban" since their 
return to power last August.

   They cited Taliban restrictions on schooling, employment, freedom of 
movement and full participation in public life, and called on the 
47-member-country rights body to consider adopting a resolution on the matter.

   A draft resolution would be presented "as soon as possible," wrote EU 
Ambassador Lotte Knudsen and French Ambassador Jerome Bonnafont in the letter.

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