NPWJ convenes roundtable with Nader Nadery to discuss the future of Afghanistan

7 Aug, 2012 | Press Releases

Brussels, 7 August 2012

On 7 August 2012, No Peace Without Justice organised a meeting with Mr Nader Nadery, a former Commissioner at the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), to discuss the situation of human rights, the rule of law and the fight against impunity, as well as peace and security in Afghanistan.

The meeting, which was hosted by Niccolo’ Figa’-Talamanca, NPWJ Secretary-General, in NPWJ’s Brussels office, saw the participation of representatives of FIDH, Amnesty International, Transparency international and UNPO.

The discussion provided an opportunity to highlight the current challenges faced by Afghanistan in its ongoing process of democratic institution-building, stressing the gains in terms of human rights, in particular in terms of civil and political rights: free political participation of women in parliament as well as a greater reporting of violence against women. At the same time there are also some important setbacks: increased violence against women (gang rapes, kidnapping committed by security forces, militia units), especially in areas where troops are leaving; recent law on freedom of expression establishing a non-independent commission giving to government an unprecedented authority to control media; increasing civilian casualties in international military operations and also attacks by Taliban and other insurgents; intimidation regarding freedom of assembly.

Moreover, with increased level of strength Taliban has shown, most areas in country fear losing gains that have been made in recent years. The South of the country has been vulnerable. There are predictions that the South and most of its provinces will be taken over by the Taliban. The North—ethnic polarization currently—will also be problematic in terms of stability and security. Sense of impunity is stronger, especially among warlords for ordinary criminal offenses but corruption as well. This type of corruption often results in human rights violations.

Another important issue is related to the process of accountability for human rights violations and violations of the laws of war committed in Afghanistan from 1978 to 2001. The Conflict mapping report, prepared by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission* and group of 40 international and Afghan researchers over six years of field work, is still awaiting its release. The report was supposed to be published months ago, but President Karzai has postponed its publication fearing backlash from those named in the report, who now hold strong positions in the government, or have mass political backing. This long-awaited report, which was commissioned under the Action Plan for Peace Justice and Reconciliation adopted by the Afghan Government in 2005, could play a central role in making the country face its past while not remaining in cycle of trauma.

*In 2005, No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) was mandated by the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) to provide technical assistance on their program to document human rights violations and violations of the laws of war. As part of that mandate, NPWJ conducted from 2005 to 2009, several training workshops in Kabul for the staff of the AIHRC working on this issue on how to collect and organise information required to do conflict mapping and, to a more limited extent, how to analyse that information, with a view to identifying those who bear the greatest responsibility for the crimes committed in Afghanistan as a whole.