What are some of the human rights issues that are portrayed in The Kite Runner?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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There are many forms of discrimination and human rights issues to be found in Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner. In the latter stages of the novel, the atrocities and repression by the Taliban take precedence over all others. Summary executions can be found during the halftime of the soccer match, and women become a target for seemingly minor transgressions (at least to Westerners). All women are forced to wear a berka, and they have social and travel restrictions placed upon them. Public beatings are common for violations. The ethnic Hazara group is a prime target, and Hassan and his wife are both executed for refusing to vacate Baba's home; and Assef turns Hassan's son, Sohrab, into a sexual play toy. Men are expected to grow beards and lower their eyes when the Taliban pass, and starvation and homelessness becomes rampant.

Even before Baba and Amir leave for California, the discrimination by the Pashtun majority against the Hazaras is visible (with Assef's hatred and sodomy of Hassan being the most glaring example). The Russian presence also brought discriminatory action, particularly to the wealthy and educated. Afghan men still repress their women in America as well, evidenced by General Taheri's subjugation of his wife and daughter.

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