Accused Afghan officials reject HRW report
KABUL (Pajhwok): Afghan officials accused of human rights violations in a recent report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Thursday rejected the report as baseless and a plot to defame Afghan leaders.
The HRW report released Tuesday (March 3) calls on new President Ashraf Ghani and his government to prosecute officials and commanders "whose serious human rights abuses have long gone unpunished."
The report titled Today We Shall All Die: Afghanistan's Strongmen and the Legacy of Impunity, said the "previous Afghan government and the United States enabled powerful and abusive individuals and their forces to commit atrocities for too long without being held to account."
The report based on 125 interviews HRW has carried out since August 2012 profiles eight "strongmen" linked to police, intelligence, and militia forces responsible for serious abuses in recent years.
The eight men named were Hazara leader Abdul Hakim Shojoyi, former Takhar police chief Khair Mohammad Timur, Afghan Local Police Commander Azizullah from the Urgun district in Paktika province, Atta Mohammad Noor, the incumbent acting governor of northern Balkh province, Najibullah Kapisa, the National Directorate of Security chief for Takhar, Mir Alam, a former senior commander with the Jamiat party, Asadullah Khalid, the former head of the National Security Directorate, and General Abdul Raziq, the Kandahar provincial police commander.
A spokesman for Noor, Munir Farhad said the governor had rejected the allegations against him as baseless. Farhad told Pajhwok Afghan News the HRW report was not only unacceptable to them but to all the Afghans.
“All people know Atta Mohammad Noor, who has been active in Afghanistan’s politics over the past three decades. He has national and international fame.”
Farhad said some internal and external elements had launched a movement to disgrace Afghan leaders and this way to derail the political process in the country.
He said such reports had no impact on Noor, who emerged a prominent figure in the last fall’s elections and would remain a leading politician in future.
Former Takhar spy department chief Najibullah Najib also called the HRW’s report as unfounded. He told Pajhwok Afghan News it was not a report but a bunch of allegations which lacked evidence and documents in support.
Najib said he had always tried to stop infiltration of militants into Takhar province for the sake of peace. “I consider the report a baseless allegation. I reject all the allegations. If you compare Takhar with northeastern provinces from security aspect, the situation is much better here.”
Najib said the report had mentioned those who were in high spirit against the Taliban and the people of Afghanistan should make a judgment on them.
Kandahar police chief Gen. Abdul Raziq, who is in Zabul leading an operation to rescue 30 kidnapped passengers, told Pajhwok Afghan News over the telephone from the frontline that he would talk to the media after the rescue mission had finished.
ALP commander in Paktika Azizullah Karwan held similar views and rejected the report as a false propaganda.
He said he had always followed instructions from high officials and had never killed an innocent person.
“I work under the police headquarters and the provincial administration. If I have violated human rights, here we have the attorney’s office, judiciary and the government. What evidence the HRW has produced to substantiate its allegations,” he asked.
Karwan said he was ready to stand trial if evidence was produced against him. He said it was his duty to retaliate to attacks from militants.
“I have no hand in anyone’s killing. I am a soldier of the system and when our posts and patrols are attacked, I can’t say but sweats are not distributed in wars.” Karwan said he had survived two suicide attacks on him.
Rejecting the HRW report, former Takhar police chief Khair Mohammad Timor called it a plot against mujahideen and those resisting the insurgency.
“A plot is being hatched against mujahideen and we have the right to defend ourselves. The HRW should negate on its allegations.” Timor said the report was an illegal attempt to defame Afghanistan’s national leaders.
Pajhwok tried to establish a contact with HRW officials, but did not succeed.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.