U.N. Staff in Afghanistan 'Fear for Their Lives' After Taliban Takeover

U.N. Staff in Afghanistan 'Fear for Their Lives' After Taliban Takeover

United Nations (U.N.) staff members in Afghanistan are facing increased incidents of “harassment and intimidation” by members of the Taliban since the terror group seized power of the country last month, U.N. special envoy to Afghanistan Deborah Lyons said Thursday, adding that some U.N. personnel “fear for their lives.”

“We are … increasingly worried by the growing number of incidents of harassment and intimidation against our national staff,” Lyons told the U.N. Security Council during a press briefing in New York City on September 9.

Lyons said that while the U.N. assistance mission in Afghanistan “will continue to do everything possible to support our staff and keep them from harm’s way,” the team “cannot conduct its work — work that is so essential to the Afghan people — if its personnel are subjected to intimidation, fear for their lives, and cannot move freely.”

Reuters obtained a copy of an internal U.N. security document on August 25 describing an alleged “beating” of a U.N. staff member in Afghanistan by members of the Taliban on August 22.

Gabrielle Reyes