Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Executions in Afghanistan a step backwards for human rights

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
PRESS RELEASE
23 November 2012

Executions in Afghanistan a step backwards for human rights

The Afghan Government’s confirmation that it has executed 14 prisoners is a huge step backwards Amnesty International has said.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai approved the executions on 20 November. This marks the first use of the death penalty in Afghanistan since June 2011.

“It is extremely regrettable that President Karzai has decided to go ahead with these 14 executions,” said Grant Bayldon, Executive Director of Amnesty International.

“The world trend is away from the death penalty - less and less countries are executing each year. It’s deeply disturbing to see Afghanistan moving in the wrong direction.”

“This rush to execute so many prompts the question - why now? In recent years, the Afghan Government had avoided executions. Karzai is certainly under some pressure now to demonstrate he can maintain the rule of law in Afghanistan, and advance reconciliation talks with the Taleban. Could these executions be more about political gain than justice?”

“The death penalty is deplorable under any circumstance, and even more troubling given the seriously flawed Afghan justice system. Detainees are frequently tortured into confessions then relied upon by a judiciary that has little to no independence. Meanwhile serious human rights violations go unpunished. There is simply no guarantee of a fair trial,” said Bayldon.

The executions have also prompted Amnesty International to renew its call to the New Zealand Government to carry out an independent investigation into the operations by the New Zealand SAS and their potential complicity in torture.

“New Zealanders need to be confident that our forces in Afghanistan are not involved in the transferal of detainees where they will be at risk of being tortured,” said Bayldon.

“The Defence Minister has reported that where the New Zealand SAS is involved in capturing detainees in joint operations with Afghan forces, the actual technical arrest is carried out by Afghan forces. This is a grey area that may be seen as the New Zealand Government trying to try to avoid its international obligations,” added Bayldon.

“The recent executions show the grave human rights concerns that remain ongoing in Afghanistan and highlight the severe consequences for detainees if New Zealand gets it wrong.”

“New Zealand has worked to promote and protect human rights through it’s presence in Afghanistan and the work with the Provincial Reconstruction Team and has been a strong international voice against the death penalty. It’s important they maintain this stance and raise their concerns with the Afghan Government following these recent executions,” said Bayldon.


Notes to Editors:

Please see below to read Amnesty International previous statement’s on the New Zealand SAS’s potential complicity in torture:

• 02 April 2012 - http://www.amnesty.org.nz/news/failure-provide-independent-investigation-leaves-new-zealand-dark-over-its-human-rights-record

• 19 November 2011 - http://www.amnesty.org.nz/news/op-ed-failure-act-casts-shadow-over-our-rights-record

• 02 May 2011 - http://www.amnesty.org.nz/news/nzsass-complicity-torture



© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Budget

It may seem like Oliver to be so bold as to ask the Finance Minister for more gruel – but what the Dickens, Steven Joyce… is this Budget really as good as it gets?

Supposedly, the public was going to receive significant rewards – an election year lolly scramble no less – for the eight years of belt tightening that they’ve endured, and for the rundown of essential public services.

Well, what Budget 2017 delivered instead in Education and in Health were allocations barely sufficient to maintain the current levels of service delivery More>>

Scoop Full Coverage: of Budget Announcements & Reaction
Latest: Scoop Search

 
 

Auditor-General Stands Down For Investigation: Gordon Campbell On (Not) Taking Responsibility

So Martin Matthews, our current Auditor-General wishes he could have detected “earlier” the fraud that occurred on his watch at the Ministry of Transport. Hmmm. But he could have detected it earlier, surely? That’s the point. More>>

ALSO:

NGOs Pleased: Govt To Halt Collection Of Client Data

Brenda Pilott, the chair of ComVoices and national manager of Social Service Providers Aotearoa, congratulates the government on its decision to call a halt to the collection of individual client data until the concerns of not-for-profit service providers have been worked through. More>>

ALSO:

Gosh: Blasphemy Law Repeal Struck Down

Chris Hipkins, the MP who tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to add our Blasphemy Law to the Statutes Repeal Bill, said this was a "sad day for freedom of speech, tolerance, and leadership". More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Navy’s Dealings With Fat Leonard, And Twin Peaks

At an official level, our “she’ll be right” attitude routinely spills over into a keen resentment of anyone who suggests the outcomes may be less than satisfactory… The Navy has now gone one step beyond. It won’t even ask itself whether it did a good job. More>>

ALSO:

NZDF: Fifth Rotation Of Troops Heads To Iraq

The fifth rotation of New Zealand Defence Force troops left today for a six-month mission training Iraqi soldiers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Demonising Of Iran

Will New Zealand still be willing to pursue its recent trade overtures to Iran, now that US President Donald Trump has used his speech in Riyadh to single out Iran as the main source of terrorism and instability in the Middle East? More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 

Opening The Election Supporters

 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog