HRW for greater Afghan forces’ accountability
CHICAGO (PAN): A leading international human rights group on Saturday asked NATO governments to endorse measures to bolster oversight and accountability of Afghan security forces and protect women’s rights.
On the eve of the Chicago summit, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a statement Afghan security forces still committed serious abuses, including killings, torture, and arbitrary detentions, with little fear of consequences.
NATO should call for strengthened human rights monitoring and effective prosecutorial offices, the watchdog said, urging the creation of a national civilian complaints mechanism covering all Afghan security forces.
“Many Afghans worry that NATO’s departure from Afghanistan will put basic rights under increasing threat,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “Unless urgent steps are taken to address Afghanistan’s governance crisis, NATO’s legacy may be a country run by abusive warlords and unaccountable security forces.”
Calling governance failures a main driver of the insurgency, Roth said: “NATO members should take human rights and good governance as seriously as more traditional security issues. They should leverage security assistance to the Afghan government to press for institutions able to bring its security forces under the rule of law.”
Possible backsliding of women’s rights remained a serious concern, HRW said, warning important advances over the past decade were under threat from the Taliban and conservative elements in the government.
“Many Afghan women feel that they are stuck between hostile insurgent forces and an indifferent government,” Roth said. “A good step forward would be to give women a far weightier role in the government institutions that are making vital decisions about the country’s future.”
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