Artemis Akbary's speech at the UN Security Council
The United States led a coalition of countries, along with the United Nations LGBTI Core Group, and called upon the U.N. Security Council to better integrate LGBTQ human rights under its international peace and security mandate.
The March 20 gathering, known as an Arria formula meeting, was the second time the UN Security Council addressed human rights violations against LGBTQ people.
This time, the council heard from Victor Madrigal-Borloz, the U.N. independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity, along with LGBTQ representatives Artemis Akbary from Afghanistan and Maria Susana Peralta Ramón from Colombia; the U.N. LGBTI Core Group; and 15 member and non-member countries, 12 of which supported the resolution.
Artemis Akbary, founder and director of Afghan LGBT Organisation (ALO) at the UN Security Council said that:
“In 2022, ALO received more than 835 requests for help from LGBT people in Afghanistan. 72% of these people told us that they were directly abused and harassed by the Taliban.
67 people were sexually assaulted by the Taliban, most of whom were transgender and lesbian. 85% of these people said that they were harassed by their family and friends during their life”.
Artemis stressed that everyone has the right to life and security which is an ever more dire situation considering many totalitarian regimes’ human rights policies are regressing and establishing further efforts to identify and prosecute LGTBQ+ individuals:
“According to articles one anthe d three of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person.
But unfortunately, LGBT+ people in Afghanistan and neighboring countries have neither freedom nor security”.
After the fall of Afghanistan by the Taliban, the situation became more difficult and challenging for marginilized groups especially LGBTQI people. LGBQI people were deprived of their basic rights even in the previous semi-democratic government.
Artemis Akbary asked the UN Security Council and International community to support the LGBTI people in Afghanistan:
“The whole world is watching as LGBTIQ people’s human rights are systematically violated in Afghanistan, and yet the international community remains silent, in contrast to its more vocal response to violations impacting women and ethnic minorities. Any countries that maintain a human rights dialogue with the Taliban should raise human rights violations against LGBTIQ people, and must not negotiate our lives away. Members of the Security Council, you have so much power to make LGBTI Afghans safe. I hope you are listening, I hope you are writing home to your capitols, and most importantly, I ask you to take action.”