Hurdles to freedom of expression increasing: IHRC
JALALABAD (PAN): Afghanistan's Independent Human Rights Commission (IHRC) on Tuesday voiced concern over cross-border incursions, hurdles to the freedom of expression and increasing land-grab incidents in eastern provinces.
Several individuals suffered casualties and many families were displaced as a result of Pakistani rocket strikes, as well as operations by ISAF and Afghan forces, in different areas of Kunar province, a commission official told reporters in Jalalabad.
IHRC chief for Nangarhar, Dr. Rafiullah Baidar, blamed the Afghan government for doing nothing to deal with the issues. However, he said, some humanitarian organisations did help the affected families.
Land grab cases and disputes, involving regional strongmen and tribes, represented the plunder of government assets, leaving ordinary people with no option, he added. Such problems had multiplied due to the absence of a credible land ownership mechanism, the official explained.
Relevant officials' reluctance to provide timely information and threats are some of the impediments to the freedom of expression, according to Baidar, who said: "Over the past three months, the IHRC office in Jalalabad has received more than 20 complaints."
He said 13 of the grievances pertained to rights abuses, eight to the denial of basic freedoms and personal security and three to marriages for resolving family feuds.
Forty-one cases of women-bashing, non-age and forced marriages, the denial of subsistence and expulsions from homes were also reported to the commission. Some females were forced into seeking refuge at the Department of Women's Affairs, but officials sent them back to homes after receiving bribes.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.