Karzai appoints new rights commissioners
KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai has appointed new commissioners to seats on the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) and extended the office service of its chairman Seema Samar for another five years, an official said on Saturday.
The five-year terms of nine commissioners expired in December 2011. Among those dropped was Nader Nadery, who had been documenting atrocities committed over the past three decades.
A spokesman for the Administrative Affairs Department at the Presidential Palace, Rafi Firdaus told Pajhwok Afghan News Karzai had appointed some new commissioners through issuing a decree.
Those appointed commissioners include Farid Hamidi, Syed Ahmad Zia Langari, Dr. Suraya Subh Rang, Maulvi Adul Rahman Hotak, Qadriya Yezdan Parast, Wahidullah Arghun, Ayub Asil and Hawa Alam Nuristani.
Civil society and human rights activists have been urging Karzai to appoint independent and experienced human rights experts to fill vacancies on the AIHRC.
Established in accordance with the Bonn Agreement of 2001 and codified in the Afghan constitution, the commission is the main institution within the Afghan government responsible for promoting human rights. Although the commission is a government body, with commissioners appointed by the president, it is by law independent.
The commission’s responsibilities include monitoring the general human rights situation in Afghanistan, investigating specific human rights violations, making recommendations to the government and setting government policy, and assisting individual Afghans whose rights have been violated.
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