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Costa Rica offers refuge to Afghan women

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Andrés Madrigal / The Tico Times

Costa Rica will welcome women fleeing Afghanistan in search of refuge, fearing that their rights will not be respected by the Taliban, said Vice President Epsy Campbell.

“Costa Rica has opened its borders and will serve as a humanitarian bridge for Afghan women looking for refuge. We must all take necessary steps within our scope of action to safeguard the lives and well-being of the children and women of Afghanistan,” Campbell said on Facebook.

“Women bear the worst consequences from the crisis in Afghanistan! We must leave no woman behind. Costa Rica is committed to making it happen,” added the vice president of the Central American country.

In a statement issued Wednesday night, Casa Presidencial said Costa Rica is “considering receiving a small group of 48 women from Afghanistan who have worked with the United Nations in that country.”

The Taliban regained power in Afghanistan after being deposed in 2001 in an invasion led by the United States, which is withdrawing its troops from that country.

Due to the brutal human rights record of the Taliban, tens of thousands of Afghans are trying to flee the country, amid concern from the international community.

On Tuesday, Taliban co-founder and deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar said the new regime will be different from the one they led between 1996 and 2001, which was known for stoning and flogging, for preventing girls from going to school, and from restricting women’s freedoms in the absence of a male companion.

Costa Rica also signed a joint declaration with the European Union, the United States and several countries, calling on “those who occupy positions of power and authority throughout Afghanistan” to guarantee the protection of women and girls.

“For the life and the rights of the women in Afghanistan, let’s come together to create an International Front for Afghan Women and Girls. They need us, let’s act now as United Nations!” added Vice President Campbell.

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