Afghanistan elections: Watershed for human rights

On Saturday 14 June, Afghans are heading to the polls again to elect a new president in a run-off between the final two candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani.

“This year is a watershed moment for Afghanistan, with international troops leaving and a new leader taking office. There is a real risk that the country’s already desperate rights situation will deteriorate further if human rights are not placed very high on the next administration’s agenda. We hope that a new government will take real steps to protect, promote and fulfil the rights that all Afghans deserve,” said Horia Mosadiq, Amnesty International’s Afghanistan Researcher.

The election period has seen a surge in optimism and enthusiasm among millions of Afghans but has also been marred by a wave of attacks by the Taliban and other armed groups, including on civilians. Dozens, including a number of aid workers, have reportedly been killed and injured since campaigning started in February.

Horia Mosadiq is available for interviews from London throughout the weekend.

Possible talking points:

Election-related attacks on civilians by the Taliban and other armed groups Human rights agendas of the candidatesThe situation of women and girls Deterioration of the security situation and civilian casualtiesJustice for past violations

Background:

“Too many missed opportunities: An evaluation of human rights in Afghanistan under Karzai”, 4 April 2014

“Afghanistan: Seven-point human rights agenda for the presidential candidates”, 6 March 2014

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