August 16, 2021
UUSC’s President and CEO calls on the Biden administration to protect the lives of Afghan civilians threatened by the Taliban.
In response to the collapse of the U.S.-backed Afghan government and the return of the insurgent Taliban group to power in Kabul, UUSC’s President and CEO Rev. Mary Katherine Morn issued the following response:
“We are shaken by the last days’ developments in Afghanistan, where the collapse of the central government and the Taliban’s return to power threaten to wreak more bloodshed and horror on a population already battered by decades of war. The United States has a unique historic responsibility for the violence in the Central Asian country and must do everything in its power to evacuate and welcome people displaced by ongoing threats to human rights.
From the 1980s on, the U.S. government has played a role in arming some of the same fundamentalist groups and warlords now terrorizing the Afghan civilian population. In 2001, the United States undertook a military intervention in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and in the 20 years since, our government has been responsible for committing torture, extrajudicial executions, and other war crimes in the course of its so-called ‘War on Terror.’
Now, thousands if not millions of people whom our government has entangled in its military actions are at risk of retaliation. Women and human rights activists, interpreters and NGO workers, Afghans who aided the U.S. war effort, and innumerable others face grave threats to their lives and freedoms under a restored Taliban regime. The U.S. has contributed to the dangers they face, and so has an indisputable obligation to evacuate them to safety.
Since the 9/11 attacks, UUSC has repeatedly called on the U.S. government to respond to terrorism and violence in ways that strengthen rather than erode human rights. As the Afghan government falls to the Taliban, the United States has an opportunity and a duty to evacuate Afghan refugees to U.S. soil and ensure they have a path to permanent status in this country.”
About UUSC: Guided by the belief that all people have inherent worth and dignity, UUSC advances human rights globally by partnering with affected communities who are confronting injustice, mobilizing to challenge oppressive systems, and inspiring and sustaining spiritually grounded activism for justice. We invite you to join us in this journey toward realizing a better future!
Image Credit: iStock—123ducu