Interior ministry rejects HRW report on ALP
KABUL (PAN): The Ministry of Interior (MoI) on Tuesday rejected the Human Rights Watchdog (HRW) report that the newly-created Afghan Local Police (ALP) force was involved in gross human rights abuses.
Confirming ALP officials' complicity in the harassment of locals, MoI spokesman Siddiqullah Siddiqui rejected at a press conference in Kabul their involvement in killings and rape.
A day earlier, the HRW alleged ALP was involved in blatant human rights abuses, including killings, rape, arbitrary detention, abductions, forcible land grabs and illegal raids in a number of provinces.
The group asked the Afghan government and the US to cut ties to irregular armed groups and take steps to create properly trained security forces. It alleged the force, set up last year, was committing rights violations in Kunduz, Baghlan, Herat and Uruzgan.
But Siddiqui acknowledged some irresponsible armed groups in certain provinces were involved in killings, rapes, illegal land grabs and kidnappings, using the name of local police.
He said: "The report released by HRW is being analysed and we cannot confirm it in its entirety." The report was being studied and the ministry would take action if it found human abuses by ALP, he promised.
The ministry wanted the community-based force, deployed to about 45 districts of the country to treat people according to Islamic teachings, respect human values and act professionally, he said.
"Based on an evaluation conducted by the ministry, ALP activities performance had been satisfactory in most of the districts and they were able to maintain security in their areas," the spokesman said.
"Pressure to reduce international troop levels should not be at the expense of the rights of Afghans," said HRW’s Asia Director Brad Adams. "Patronage links... allow supposedly pro-government militias to terrorise local communities and operate with impunity."
The spokesman said maltreatment of the people by Afghan National Police and ALP was unacceptable and whenever such actions were reported, the perpetrators would be treated in accordance with the law.
More than 2000 national and local police were introduced to the judicial organs last year on charges of mistreating the people, he pointed out.
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