Human Rights: Angelina Jolie: Afghanistan is not a slip

Jolie is the Special Ambassador for the United Nations Refugee Agency. Photo: Richard Shotwell / Invision / AP / dpa / Archive Photo Photo: dpa


The American actress is very concerned, especially for the women and girls of Afghanistan.

BERLIN – Hollywood star Angelina Jolie, special envoy of the United Nations refugee agency, sees developments in Afghanistan as an example of systemic political failure.

“Afghanistan is not a slip or an isolated case, it’s a pattern. It represents decades of human rights neglect,” Jolie told Welt am Sonntag. “The country shows the lack of measured and human rights-based interventions and the collapse of the international system.” Jolie said the entire world is in worse shape today than it was 20 years ago: “We have more unresolved conflicts and millions of other refugees.”

After the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, a US-led military operation in Afghanistan toppled the hard-line Islamic Taliban regime. At the same time that US forces withdrew, the Taliban recently returned to power.

Jolie said she does not believe any government in Afghanistan “can just turn back the clock and say that from now on everything will be as it was 20 years ago.” But she may be wrong about that. In any case, she is worried: “I think of all the women and girls who now don’t know if they can go back to work or school. I think young Afghans who are worried they will lose their freedoms will.”

Jolie criticized the negotiations between the United States under President Donald Trump and the Taliban in Doha, which resulted in an agreement on the withdrawal of international armed forces in February 2020. “America should never have entered into negotiations that almost completely exclude Afghan civil society and Afghan women,” she said. “This is something we should never do – discuss the future of a country at the head of its people.”

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