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Cablegate: Afghan Un Human Rights Report

VZCZCXRO7000
RR RUEHPW
DE RUEHBUL #1770 1970652
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 150652Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4714
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 6737
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 4414
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS KABUL 001770

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/A,DRL/NESCA
NSC FOR WOOD
OSD FOR SHIVERS
CENTCOM FOR CG CJTF-101 POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV AF
SUBJECT: AFGHAN UN HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT

1. The GIRoA will issue a Universal Periodic Report (UPR) on
its human rights record at the request of the UN's Human
Rights Council (UNHCR). The government is open to including
a modestly robust criticism of the its recent track record on
human rights, especially in relation to treatment of
prisoners, rule of law, and the failings of the court system.
Local NGOs may lack the sophistication to participate
effectively in the review.

Report Due By Spring 2009
-------------------------

2. President Karzai has appointed an 11-member (10 men, one
woman) committee headed by Foreign Minister Spanta to finish
the report by April 2009. As with other countries' UPRs,
UNHRC requests the GIRoA submit a 20-page description of the
human rights situation. The Office of the High Commissioner
for Human Rights, NGOs, academic institutions, and civil
society representatives may also submit shadow reports.

3. The drafting committee includes Mohammad Farid Hamidi, a
commissioner with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights
Commission (AIHRC), who briefed PolOff on the committee's
first two working meetings. Additional committee members
include representatives of the justice, defense, and social
affairs ministries, as well as civil society representatives
and a law professor from Kabul University.

4. Although UPRs for some countries have sparked numerous
shadow reports from local NGOs and human rights watchers,
Afghanistan's weak civil society and small number of NGOs
working outside of the humanitarian assistance field may
struggle to take advantage of the opportunity to provide
alternate assessments of the GIRoA's human rights record.
Other AIHRC staff not associated with the
government-appointed UPR drafting committee said they have
begun meeting with the NGO community to encourage human
rights watchers to pool resources and submit a shadow report
together.
WOOD

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