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Afghanistan: New Law To Fight Terrorism Welcomed

Afghanistan: UN agency welcomes new law on combating terrorism

31 July 2008 - A new anti-terrorism law in Afghanistan has been welcomed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which says the legislation brings the country in line with international conventions.

"The enactment of the new law is a major step towards bringing to justice those who have committed, attempted to commit, or plan to commit terrorist acts. It is an important part of an effective and comprehensive anti-terrorism strategy," Christina Gynna Oguz, UNODC Representative in Afghanistan, said in a statement.

The new Combat against Terrorism Offences legislation ensures the human rights of suspects and accused, according to UNODC. It requires that all protections in the country's Constitution and criminal procedure laws apply in terrorism cases.

"This law now brings Afghanistan's penal legislation in accordance with the 13 international conventions on terrorism," Ms. Oguz said, while she also urged the drafting of regulations to safeguard privacy rights by controlling law enforcement monitoring of communications, after court approval.

UNODC has worked closely with the legislation department of the Afghan Ministry of Justice and has provided technical advice by leading weekly meetings, training workshops and drafting sessions.

The UN agency says that Afghanistan faces serious terrorism problems threatening its stability, prosperity and good governance, as well as the human rights of its citizens.

In a related development, UNODC held a training workshop this week for Afghanistan's Central Prison Department on new regulations for prisons in the country.

"The obligation to treat persons deprived of their liberty with dignity and humanity is a fundamental and universally applicable rule - and not dependent on the material resources available," Ms. Oguz said.

The new regulations are designed to enhance the protection of prisoners and detainees across the country and to support proper management of prisons. Further trainings are planned for all of Afghanistan's 34 provinces.

ENDS

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