No checks on local police force: AIHRC
KABUL (PAN): Support from warlords and a complete absence of government check have allowed the US-funded local police force to commit criminal acts and violate human rights in the country, officials alleged on Saturday.
Although the Ministry of Interior spurned the allegation as baseless, a recent survey conducted by human rights activists reveals most of individuals recruited into the force have criminal backgrounds.
A number of security officials, common people, elders, provincial council members, analysts and some commanders of international soldiers were interviewed during the survey conducted in 10 provinces.
A summary of the report “From Militiamen to Local Police” was presented at a press conference in Kabul. The document said human right activists closely observed the role of local police in maintaining security, enforcing laws and ensuring respect for human rights.
Tribal militias have been raised to maintain security for their respective areas without receiving any salaries. The Ministry of Interior has no control over the groups supported and equipped by the government to fight militants, the report says.
Local policemen are mostly deployed to areas where the government writ has been fragile. In their report, rights activists acknowledged security in some provinces had improved, thanks to efforts by local police, but at the same time, the personnel were involved in teasing people and violating human rights.
"Local policemen are being introduced to foreign soldiers by influential figures, therefore, they do not obey the central government," remarked Sima Samar, Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) head.
Samar said only the local policemen underwent only three weeks of training and did not go through a proper vetting process. "What worries us is the short training being given to the local police, who commit crimes and are deployed to areas where the government has no system to monitor their activities."
But Interior Ministry spokesman Ghulam Sidiq Siddiqui rejected the assertion, saying the ministry had detailed checks on local police activities. He told Pajhwok Afghan News people in most parts of the country, where the militiamen had been deployed, were happy with their performance.
His claim comes 10 days after residents of northern Kunduz province staged a protest against the local policemen, accusing the force of intimidating people.
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