Responding to President Biden’s remarks today, Paul O’Brien, the executive director of Amnesty International USA said:
“Adhering to his arbitrarily determined deadline, President Biden failed to put in place a successful plan for the evacuation of all Afghans at greatest risk. His plan fails those most at risk in Afghanistan and abdicates the U.S. government’s obligations to the Afghan people, obligations made heavy by the weight of a two-decade military presence. At this very moment at-risk journalists, interpreters, and women’s rights activists left behind in Afghanistan desperately phone their contacts abroad, asking for help. Their fears are real.”
Amnesty International USA is calling on the Biden Administration to:
- Commit to admitting at least 200,000 refugees in fiscal year 2022, and immediately commit to halt any and all removals to Afghanistan and designate Afghanistan for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
- Work with Congress to ensure all arriving Afghans have a roadmap to citizenship and access to refugee resettlement benefits, including food, shelter, transportation, medical assistance, English training, employment preparation, and job placement
- Promote and expand community sponsorship – including a new private sponsorship program – to empower people across the country to directly welcome and support our new Afghan neighbors
- Use all diplomatic means to press Afghanistan’s neighbors to open their borders to Afghanistan’s refugees
- Stand up a robust humanitarian infrastructure to support Afghan refugees, including by urging Congress to pass emergency funding to support Afghans abroad and Afghans arriving to the United States
- Work with the United Nations to establish a fact-finding mission or similar investigative mechanism, with a multi-year mandate to investigate all crimes under international law, including human rights violations and abuses committed by all parties across Afghanistan.
- Provide accountability and remedies, including compensation, to Afghan survivors of torture by U.S. government personnel and military contractors as well as to civilian casualties of U.S. operations; and commit that the U.S.’s future operations, if any, in Afghanistan will reflect its obligations under international human rights law.
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