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

 

DR Congo: Head Of UN Mission Condemns Deadly Rebel Attacks

A MONUSCO APC is greeted by FARDC soldiers on their way back from the front line in the Beni region of the DRC where the UN is backing the FARDC in an operation against ADF militia. Photo: MONUSCO/Sylvain Liechti More>>

UNESCO Chief Denounces Killing Of Cambodian Journalist

17 October 2014 – The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today denounced the killing of a Cambodian reporter shot while investigating illegal logging in the eastern part of the country. More>>

Detroit: Impact Of Water Disconnections On Human Rights

GENEVA / NEW YORK (15 October 2015) – Two United Nations human rights experts will visit the city of Detroit (Michigan- USA) from 18 to 20 October 2014, to learn more about the impact of large-scale water disconnections on low-income, marginalized ... More>>

UN Lauds Role Of Family Farmers In Ending Global Hunger

A farmer at work in a dragon fruit field in Viet Nam (July 2013). Photo: FAO/Hoang Dinh Nam | See more photos More>>


Funding Gap Looms Amid Efforts To Tackle Ebola & ISIS

Funding Gap Looms Amid Efforts to Tackle ‘Twin Plagues’ Ebola, ISIL, Warns UN Rights Chief More>>

ALSO:

  • The White House - Ebola: What You Need to Know

  • Egypt Sentences Another Al Jazeera Journalist

    In another disturbing move against freedom of speech and independent journalism in Egypt, one of Al Jazeera Arabic channel’s presenters, Ahmed Mansour, has been sentenced in absentia to fifteen years imprisonment by Cairo’s criminal court on the absurd ... More>>

    ISIL Advance On Iraqi Town Unleash New Flood Of Displacement

    Syrian Kurds from the town of Kobane seeking shelter in Iraq's Kurdistan region. Photo: UNHCR/D. Nahr More>>

    ALSO:

  • U.S. Department of State - U.S. Condemns ISIL Attacks in Iraq
  • U.S Announces Humanitarian Assistance For Palestinians

    Today, Secretary of State John Kerry announced $414 million in U.S. assistance to the Palestinians. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news