Afghanistan is one of the most repressive countries in the world

Voice of America, April 30, 1999

Intro: Afghanistan is one of the most repressive countries in the world today, according to the annual report of Freedom House, which rates nations on their political rights and civil liberties. That harsh judgment was echoed by Hillary Clinton in a recent speech condemning the Taliban who now rule most of Afghanistan. VOA's Ed Warner reports on the growing hostility toward the Taliban, along with some commentary on their role in contemporary Afghanistan.

Text: in its 1998-99 survey, Freedom House places Afghanistan among the thirteen nations that are the worst violators of basic human rights. The report says "the Taliban's violent, arbitrary rule has imposed order through terror. Its dehumanization of women and girls has turned educated women into beggars; left widows, mothers and daughters to die of illnesses that have been treatable for decades; and denied a generation of girls access to basic education."

Hillary Clinton made the same charge at a recent meeting April 28 of "physicians for human rights" on Capitol Hill:

When women are savagely beaten by so-called religious police for not being fully covered by the burqa (body covering) or for making noises while they walk, we know it is not just a physical beating that is the objective. It is the destruction of the spirit of those women as well.

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