Afghanistan: Ten-Point Agenda for Human Rights

As the Afghan people prepare to go to the polls in elections on 20 August, Amnesty International today published a Ten-Point Agenda for Human Rights in Afghanistan, targeting the 38 presidential candidates, in a bid to improve the country’s desperate human rights situation.

“We have spoken to many Afghan citizens who expressed frustration and anger towards the Afghan government’s apparent indifference to human rights,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International Director for Asia-Pacific.

“Government officials and parliamentarians suspected of serious human rights violations and war crimes are enjoying blatant impunity. Many are also widely believed to be involved in corruption and criminal activities, but are rarely held accountable.”

“Meanwhile, Afghans continue to suffer from poor governance, endemic corruption, a weak and inept justice system and lack of respect for human rights and rule of law,” said Sam Zarifi.

Amnesty International said that at a time when Afghans are facing increasing insecurity, prioritizing human rights and the rule of law can serve to strengthen stability and security throughout the country.  

“Presidential candidates can begin to address the anger and frustration felt by the Afghan people by publicly committing to improving human rights – thereby making a real difference in people’s lives and moving the country towards the greater stability it so desperately needs,” said Sam Zarifi.

The 10 key human rights recommendations contained in Amnesty International’s agenda, in summary, are:

– fulfill Afghanistan’s international human rights obligations – reform the judiciary and law enforcement – end arbitrary arrests, unlawful detentions and torture – combat impunity for past human rights violations – ensure the right to freedom of expression including media freedom   – provide assistance to internally displaced persons and returnees – impose a moratorium, then abolish the death penalty – effectively protect the rights of children – ensure the rights of women in law and practice – protect civilians caught in the conflict

The see a full copy of Amnesty International’s Ten-Point Agenda for Human Rights in Afghanistan, please click here.