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

 


Afghanistan: Candidates’ Positions on Rights in Spotlight

Responses to Survey From 4 of 11 Presidential Contenders on Key Rights Issues
February 9, 2014

(Kabul) – Presidential candidates’ positions on human rights should be a central focus in the run-up to the April 2014 presidential elections inAfghanistan, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing candidates’ responses to a new human rights questionnaire.

Four of the 11 candidates in Afghanistan’s scheduled April 5, 2014 presidential election responded to a Human Rights Watch questionnaire on the country’s key human rights challenges. Topics covered include accountability for war crimes, women’s rights, and torture.

“The four presidential candidates who responded to this survey deserve credit for sharing their views on these critically important issues,” said Brad Adams,Asia director. “Afghan voters need to know what commitments the prospective future presidents of Afghanistan are willing to make to address torture, women’s rights, militias, and accountability. The responses to our questionnaire are part of that process.”

On December 2, 2013, Human Rights Watch sent a questionnaire on human rights to all 11 presidential campaigns. The questionnaire contained 17 questions regarding key human rights issues (see the full questionnaire in appendix 2). Human Rights Watch set a deadline of January 2, 2014, for the campaigns to return the completed questionnaire. Human Rights Watch contacted each campaign multiple times between December 2, 2013, and January 2, 2014, to ensure that they had in fact received the questionnaire and to remind them of the deadline.

The campaigns of Abdullah Abdullah, Qutbuddin Helal, and Qayum Karzai submitted completed questionnaires by the January 2 deadline. After Human Rights Watch contacted the eight presidential candidates who had not responded and extended the deadline to January 14, the campaign of Daoud Sultanzoy responded on January 18 in the form of a long email, rather than a completed questionnaire. Summaries of their answers are provided as appendix 1. The full responses from these four campaigns in their original Dari and Human Rights Watch’s English translation (except for the Sultanzoy campaign which replied in English and for which we have provided a Dari translation) are provided in appendixes 3-6. The other seven candidates did not respond.

The Human Rights Watch survey of Afghan presidential candidates is part of a broader effort in Afghanistan to assess candidates’ views on key human rights issues. In December 2013 the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission held a forum for all presidential candidates to discuss their positions on a range of human rights issues. Five candidates – Ashraf Ghani, Abdullah, Helal, Sultanzoy, and Abdul Rasul Sayyaf – attended. A sixth, Zalmai Rassoul, sent one of his vice presidential running mates in his place. The Women’s Political Rights Advocacy Group organized a January 26, 2014 forum for presidential candidates on women’s rights. Four of the candidates – Sultanzoy, Abdullah, Naem, and Karzai – attended. Two other candidates, Sayyaf and Gul Agha Sherzai, sent representatives.

Term limits in the Afghan constitution bar the current president, Hamid Karzai, from reelection. Karzai has presided over some positive developments on human rights, including greater media freedom, significant progress on women’s rights, and the establishment of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.

However, the Karzai government has failed to address accountability for past and ongoing grave crimes, torture and ill-treatment in custody, efforts to curtail press freedom, and serious erosion in the past year of women’s rights improvements.

“Afghan presidential candidates should make their positions and plans for defending human rights clear and transparent,” Adams said. “Afghan voters should go to the polls with full knowledge of their prospective leaders’ positions on these life-and-death issues.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UK Labour Statement: The Shooting Of MP Jo Cox

Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party said: “The whole of the Labour Party and Labour family - and indeed the whole country - will be in shock at the horrific murder of Jo Cox today. Jo had a lifelong record of public service and a deep commitment to humanity." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Rainbow Colours On MFC In Sympathy For Florida Killings
Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre will be lit in colours of the rainbow Monday as a gesture of support for the LGBTI victims of the Pulse nightclub attack in Orlando, Florida. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On How Obama’s Supreme Court Choice Says Everything (Bad) About His Presidency

Nothing has epitomised the presidency of Barack Obama quite like his Supreme Court nominees. Time and again, Republican presidents will blithely nominate right wing ideological extremists (Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas) who only sometimes misfire and turn out to be liberals in disguise (David Souter). Yet Obama has consistently skipped over the judicially qualified liberals and gone for a succession of centrists... More>>

ALSO:

Turkey: UN Secretary-General On The Terrorist Bombing In Ankara

The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack in Ankara earlier today. According to the latest reports, the explosion in the Kizilay district killed and wounded dozens of people. More>>

ALSO:

Five Years On: Fukushima And New Zealand

Science Media Centre: It was the worst nuclear event since Chernobyl. In the wake of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, a crippled Japanese nuclear powerplant went into meltdown, and the world watched as emergency workers scrambled to shut down and contain the reactors. More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF: 1 In 3 Syrian Children Has Grown Up Knowing Only Crisis

An estimated 3.7 million Syrian children – 1 in 3 of all Syrian children - have been born since the conflict began five years ago, their lives shaped by violence, fear and displacement, according to a UNICEF report. This figure includes more than 151,000 children born as refugees since 2011. More>>

ALSO:

Franklin Lamb: Syria’s Truce Bodes Well For Salvaging Our Cultural Heritage

The tentative cessation of hostilities in Syria, which came into effect on 2/28/2016, brokered by Washington and Moscow, is only in its second week... It is well documented that there have been daily incidents of artillery shelling, airstrikes and clashes. Yet, for the nearly 12 million displaced civilians, half of Syria’s population, it’s a much welcomed respite. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news