Protestors seek open trial of war criminals, set deadline for AIHRC
KABUL (Pajhwok): Hundreds of protestors on Thursday demanded a public trial of the killers of civilians in the Syedabad incident in central Maidan Wardak province, asking the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) to name all war criminals within a week.
At least 12 people, including children, were killed and another six wounded on Friday when a mortar shell, allegedly fired by Afghan National Army (ANA) troops, hit a mosque in Syedabad district.
The protestors said the AIHRC should be abolished if it failed to reveal the names of war criminals.Around 400 civil society activists and people from different provinces walked from Dehbori intersection of Kabul to AIHRC office.
The demonstrators chanted “We wand open trial of the Syedabad killers and other war criminals, we want transitional justice, death to criminals, AIHRC should disclose their names.”
Some years ago, the rights watchdog compiled a report in war crimesover the past 30 years, but the document is yet to see the light of the day. Consistent calls for the document’s release have gone unheeded.
Maidan Wardak social grant council head Dr. Ziauddin Kamal, who also participated in the protest, said they demanded justice, security and peace. “Today marks International Human Rights Day, but AIHRC remains silent and refuses to unmask war criminals.”
He hit out at the commission, saying: “Our protest is not only against the Syedabad incident; it is also against continued injustice. Those accused of war crimes be sacked form their positions and brought to justice,”
Kabul University teacher Faiz Mohammad Zaland, who also participated in the rally, held a similar view. He said the Afghans would no longer trust the rights commission that had been dithering on releasing the list of war criminals.
The protestors issued a resolution, demanding severe punishment for the perpetrators of Syedabad massacre and set a 35-day deadline for AIHRC to release the report on war criminals; otherwise the watchdog be abolished.
Present Ashraf Ghani on last Saturday ordered a thoroughgoing investigation into civilian killings, directing the Office of Administrative Affairs to provide assistance to the victims’ families.
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