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Removal of HR campaigners slammed

Removal of HR campaigners slammed

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Dec 25, 2011 - 20:35

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The Haq-wa-Adalat political party on Sunday denounced the sacking of top human rights advocates by the president as an unprincipled decision that could fuel concerns over rights abuses in Afghanistaninfo-icon.

"The removal of the three committed Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC)'s commissioners will spark worries around the worldinfo-icon about Afghanistan's stance on human rights," the party's spokesman, Hamidullah Farooqi, told a gathering in Kabul.

On Friday, the president's office said the five-year term of three top AIHRC officials had expired and Karzai would not give them any extension.

AIHRC chief Nader Naderi said Karzai had fired him and two others from the government's human rights watchdog. "We have heard that we're being removed, but we haven't been notified yet," he added.

Also dismissed from the nine-member body were Ahmad Fahim Hakim and Maulviinfo-icon Ghulam Mohammad Gharib, a cleric from southern Kandahar province.

On Saturday, the Civil Societyinfo-icon Coordination Jirga officials urged the president to keep the national interest supreme in appointing new members of the commission.

In a statement, the jirgainfo-icon urged Karzai to appoint impartial people committed to protecting the national interest, respecting the human rights and promoting peace.

"Refusing to extend the terms of the commissioners is a partial decision which can affect human rights in the country," Farooqi told the gathering. He asked the United Nations and human right bodies to help AIHRC complete a landmark report on war crimes and human right violations in Afghanistan.

The 1,000-page report would expose human rights abuses in Afghanistan from 1978 to 2001.The report is said to be highly critical of some mujahedeen leaders and US-backed elements who fought the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s.

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