World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Afghanistan Laggs Behind In Human Rights Treatment

Afghanistan Lagging Behind In Human Rights Treatment, UN Expert Finds

While Afghanistan has made great progress since the fall of the Taliban regime in late 2001, "gross violations of fundamental human rights" continue, from extrajudicial executions to inhuman detention to the frequent abuse or assault of women and girls, a United Nations expert says in his latest report to the General Assembly.

Prof. Cherif Bassiouni, the Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Afghanistan, says the "key to understanding these violations" is the insecurity caused by the continuing military power of warlords and local commanders and the increasing economic power of those involved in heroin production and trade.

"The absence of security has a direct and significant impact on all human rights," the report states, adding that the number of foreign troops should be increased substantially to deter violence and human rights abuses.

The report follows the Expert's visit in August, when he met with interim President Hamid Karzai, several government ministers and senior members of the judiciary and legal profession.

Professor Bassiouni says he is particularly concerned by the physical sanitary and health conditions at Pol-e Charkhi prison, where 734 Pakistanis and Afghans were illegally detained for 30 months until Mr. Karzai last month acceded to the envoy's request to release them.

Conditions at Pol-e Charkhi must be improved to meet UN minimum standards for the treatment of prisoners, he states, while he also calls on the Government to release all female prisoners detained "for actions that do not constitute crimes under Afghan law."

The report makes 30 recommendations in total, including a call for the release of all individuals who have been held for lengthy periods with charge unless the Government can provide a fair and speedy trial.

Other recommendations include:

  • The establishment of a national monitoring body to investigate prison conditions.
  • The passage of a government decree that outlaws the transfer of young girls in marriage as payment of "blood money" and as a method of settling family debts.

  • Tougher measures to tackle the widespread practices of child abduction and child trafficking.
  • Greater government control over the school curriculum, especially in private religious schools, and enhanced education for women and girls.
  • More active efforts to reduce opium poppy cultivation and the resulting heroin trade.
  • © Scoop Media

    World Headlines


    At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

    The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



    Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

    The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

    Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

    Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


    Other Australian Detention

    Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

    Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


    Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

    Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


    Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

    Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


    Get More From Scoop

    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news