By Jenny Goldsberry
The Foundation for Defense of Democracies released a memo Wednesday to encourage President Biden to impose sanctions on Hamas over their use of human shields last month. Congress has already enacted a law to allow for these sanctions, it’s just up to the president to submit a list of bad actors every December.
Moreover, in 2018 Congress unanimously enacted the Sanctioning the Use of Civilians as Defenseless Shields Act. Former President Trump did not exercise his power to sanction via this law. Meanwhile, Hamas and Hezbollah continued to use human shields. Senior Fellow Orde Kittrie wrote the memo in hopes that Biden will go against that precedent.
“The Biden administration should start implementing the Shields Act, including by imposing sanctions on Yahya Sinwar, the top Hamas political leader in Gaza, and other terrorist officials for whom there is compelling evidence of their responsibility for the use of human shields,” Kiitrie wrote.
You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.
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Mental health crisis spikes among Afghan women after Taliban regained control two years ago
The women of Afghanistan are suffering a mental health crisis since the Taliban regained power two years ago. According to a joint report from three U.N. agencies released Tuesday, approximately 70% of women experience feelings of anxiety, isolation and depression.
The numbers continue to rise, as there has already been a significant jump between April and June of this year alone, with an increase from 57% the preceding quarter.
The report, conducted by U.N. Women, the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, interviewed women online, in-person and in group consultations as well as individual telesurveys.
592 Afghan women in 22 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces took part in the study. The Associated Press reports:
They have barred women from most areas of public life and work and banned girls from going to school beyond the sixth grade. They have prohibited Afghan women from working at local and non-governmental organizations. The ban was extended to employees of the United Nations in April.
Opportunities to study continued to shrink as community-based education by international organizations was banned and home-based schooling initiatives were regularly shut down by the de facto authorities — a term use by the U.N. for the Taliban government.
Afghanistan is the only country in the world with restrictions on female education and the rights of Afghan women and children are on the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
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