Social media platforms asked to preserve evidence of human rights violations in Afghanistan

Kabul: The US Central Command on Monday midnight announced that the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan has been completed, ending 20 years of Washington-led invasion of the war-torn nation.

Now, it is anticipated that the situation in Afghanistan will evolve and even might pose a serious risk to human rights. In such a situation, Human Rights groups, Access Now, Amnesty International, and USA Human Rights Watch have asked the social media platform to preserve evidence of potential human rights abuse in the country.

In the press release, the groups mentioned, “It is critical that online platforms that allow for hosting and sharing of content, including social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, preserve evidence of any past or ongoing human rights abuses or violations of international criminal and humanitarian law by all actors in the conflict”.

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Acknowledging that these platforms restrict content that incites violence, the groups stressed the need to preserve the removed material so that it can be made available for competent investigators.

The groups also asked the online platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to ensure the privacy and security of vulnerable individuals associated with that content.

The group reiterated the ongoing call from civil society for these companies to work with internationally mandated investigators, human rights organizations, civil society groups, journalists, academics, and national law enforcement representatives to launch a consultation process to establish a mechanism to ensure the preservation of removed content that might constitute evidence of human rights abuses.

It will help human rights organizations and other investigators in examining, analyzing, and reporting on human rights abuses committed in Afghanistan, the group added.

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