Afghans with legal documents, invitations can travel: Mujahid

Officials of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) said on Tuesday that Afghans with the necessary legal documents and invitations from foreign countries can travel without any limitations.

Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman for the IEA and deputy minister of information and culture, on Tuesday clarified his comments made Monday on the travel ban.

He said people in possession of the correct documents are free to travel but those without legal documents are banned from leaving the country.

“Our compatriots who have legal documents and invitations can travel abroad and come to the country with confidence,” tweeted Mujahid.

Mujahid’s comments on Monday sparked widespread reaction.

Among the organizations that reacted was Human Rights Watch.

“It is important to keep in mind that if you are not allowed to exit from home and engage in legal issues. It means you are not allowed to have access to schools, and health services. It means you are not allowed to be safe from domestic violence. It is horrific that women will be at home,” said Haidar Bar, head of the Afghanistan Human Rights Watch.

Some women’s rights activists said that if the IEA issues limitations on women, they would be contradicting their commitments to the international community.

“IEA vowed they will allow women to have access to their fundamental rights like political engagement and education. But now the women’s demands are destroyed,” said Zarghana Wali, an activist.

“If women are not allowed to leave their country, they can’t continue their activities; Islamic Emirate should change their policy regarding women,” said Tarana Adib, another activist.

A US Department of State official meanwhile said that the US is engaged with the IEA about the evacuation process of Afghans.

The evacuation process ground to a halt at the end of August last year amid a chaotic withdrawal of US and foreign troops.