Hoeven Helps Introduce Legislation to Hold Taliban Accountable for Terrorism, Human Rights Abuses & Drug Trafficking

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-N.D.) this week joined Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Jim Risch (R-Idaho) in introducing legislation to hold the Taliban accountable with sanctions for terrorism, human rights abuses and drug trafficking, among other offenses.


          “The Biden administration’s reckless withdrawal from Afghanistan has allowed that nation to backslide, which again serves as a haven for terrorists and drug trafficking, while its people suffer under severe human rights abuses,” said Senator Hoeven. “Our legislation rightly imposes tariffs, and supports our allies in doing the same, in order to hold the Taliban accountable and push the regime to make real reforms, prevent the spread of terrorism and build a truly representative government that respects the natural rights of its people.”


“With the U.S. withdrawal and Taliban’s ascent to power, Afghanistan has become a pariah state and our policies should reflect this reality. As the Taliban attempts to be recognized as a legitimate government at the United Nations, I’m proud to introduce legislation that underscores the status quo is unacceptable and imposes real penalties for the Taliban’s conduct,” said Senator Risch.


In addition to Hoeven and Risch, the bill is cosponsored by Senators Bill Cassidy (R-La.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Todd Young (R-Ind.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas).


The Taliban Sanctions Act establishes clear benchmarks for the suspension of sanctions against the Taliban, including:


  • • Publicly and privately breaking all ties with other terrorist groups, including al Qaeda.
  • • Taking verifiable measures to prevent the use of Afghanistan as a platform for terrorist attacks against the United States or partners or allies of the United States, including by denying sanctuary space, transit of Afghan territory and use of Afghanistan for terrorist training, planning or equipping.
  • • Providing humanitarian actors with full, unimpeded access to vulnerable populations throughout Afghanistan without interference or diversion.
  • • Respecting freedom of movement, including by facilitating the departure of foreign nationals, applicants for the special immigrant visa program and other at-risk Afghans by air or land routes, and the safe, voluntary and dignified return of displaced persons.
  • • Supporting the establishment of an inclusive government of Afghanistan that respects the rule of law, press freedom and human rights, including the rights of women and girls.


The full text of the legislation can be found here.