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HR activists concerned at women's jail conditions

HR activists concerned at women's jail conditions

Mar 06, 2011 - 18:56

MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PANinfo-icon): Womeninfo-icon rights activists said on Sunday they were "deeply concerned" over living conditions in prisons for females in northern Afghanistaninfo-icon.

Leaders of different women's rights organisations, at a gathering arranged by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in Mazar-i-Sharif, called for rectifying the situation.

Officials from women's affairs departments in the northern zone also attended the meeting aimed at discussing achievements in protecting women's rights over the past one year.

Women were being subjected to harsh living conditions at jails in Balkh, Sari-i-Pul and Samangan provinces, head of Afghanistan's Independent Human Rights Organisation in the north, Syed Ahmad Sami, told the participants.

He said commission officials repeatedly visited prisons in the northern zone, where women inmates were faced with numerous problems. He said the situation could worsen if the government failed to take urgent remedial measures.

Identifying lack of space as one of the major issues, he exclusively mentioned jails in Sar-i-Pul where women and men were being held under one roof with a thin mud wall separating them.

Balkh women's affairs director, Fariba Majeed, acknowledged that female prisoners needed special attention. She confirmed they were faced with problems in Balkh, urging the central government to address the situation.

She said violence against women had decreased in the province as a result of joint efforts by religious scholars and her department by conducting workshops, aimed at creating awareness about women's rights.



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