Report Details Threats to Women’s Rights, Freedom of Expression
The report warns that violence,
political intimidation, and attacks on women and girls are discouraging
political participation and endangering gains made on women’s rights in
“Human rights abuses in
The 101-page report, “Killing You
Is a Very Easy Thing for Us”: Human Rights Abuses in Southeast Afghanistan,
documents army and police troops kidnapping Afghans and holding them for ransom
in unofficial prisons; breaking into households and robbing families; raping
women, girls and boys; and extorting shopkeepers and bus, truck and taxi
drivers. The report also describes political organizers, journalists and media
editors being threatened with death, arrested and harassed by army, police and
intelligence agents. The subject area of the report, the southeast of
Because soldiers are targeting women and girls, many are staying indoors, especially in rural areas, making it impossible for them to attend school, go to work, or actively participate in the country’s reconstruction. In many places, human rights abuses are driving many Afghan families to keep their girls out of school. The atmosphere of violence, along with resurgent religious fundamentalism in parts of the country, is endangering the most important human rights improvement since the end of the Taliban––the ability of girls to go back to school.
“The fact is that most girls in
"The provincial radio and television stations have been completely taken over by the governors," said Allan Geere of the press training organisation IWPR. "The content is very poor, just propaganda or local information. It¹s really Radio Governor." The journalists are under the thumb of the local authorities and cannot imagine working in an independent fashion.
Reporters Without Border, Nov.13, 2002
The testimony of victims and
witnesses implicates soldiers and police under the command of many high-level
military and political officials in
The report urges the Afghan government to sideline and pressure abusive leaders and to seek more international assistance in its efforts.
Human Rights Watch called on the
“External support for warlords is
Human Rights Watch emphasized the
need for the Afghan government and the international community to redouble
efforts to reform the Afghan Ministry of Defense. The Ministry of Defense in
Human Rights Watch
urged NATO to expand the geographic scope of the U.N. authorized security
force, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), currently stationed
Human Rights Watch called on the United Nations to increase its human rights monitoring and protection efforts through the deployment of significant numbers of U.N. human rights officers around the country.
“With more U.N. human rights
workers on the ground, victims will be better able to seek redress and
protection. An increase in monitoring will have the added benefit of giving the
Afghan administration and the international community better information about
what is happening around the country,” said
Human Rights Watch also urged the United Nations to increase its public reporting on the human rights situation and to supply more personnel to work side-by-side with the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission.
Report will be available publicly at: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2003/afghanistan0703/
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Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA)
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