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Sima Samar wants to retain AIHRC commissioner slot

Sima Samar wants to retain AIHRC commissioner slot

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Nov 08, 2018 - 17:30

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The joint working group of civil societyinfo-icon coalition has introduced 81 people for membership of the Afghanistaninfo-icon Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), including Sima Samar, the commission’s incumbent head and another sitting commissioner.

According to a joint statement released by the Joint Civil Society Work Group and AIHRC received by Pajhwok Afghan News, the working group started choosing eligible individuals for membership of the commission on August 23.

On August 25, the work group announced the commissioner positions online on AIHRC website and 390 people applied for the posts in 20 days, the statement said.

However, it did not explain whether current members of the AIHRC are in the list of eligible individuals or not.

But a copy of the list obtained by Pajhwok Afghan News shows that Sima Samar, current AIHRC head, and Qadaryar YazdanParast, another member of the commission, are shortlisted for AIHRC membership.

Former president Hamid Karzai decreed AIHRC on June 2002 after the Bunn Agreement. Sima Samar, who was appointed as the first head of the commission after its establishment, is still serving on the position.

Samar wants to remain on her position in appointments of fresh commissioners for AIHRC.

According to the Article 7 of AIHRC, the commission is comprised of nine members including men and womeninfo-icon who are appointed by the president for a period of five years. The head of the commission is also one among the members who is also appointed by the president.

The joint statement said after reviews of documents of the applicants, the joint work group found 330 people including 62 of them women and 268 others men eligible for membership of the AIHRC.

From the list, the work group found 210 of applicants including 43 women and 168 men meeting the membership standards of the commission but only 181 applicants including 35 of them women and 146 men appeared for interview, the source said.

The statement said ]the joint committee of the civil society held a second phase of interviewsinfo-icon for the applicants on October 7 and marks of candidates were reviewed.

After the review of marks of the applicants, 105 of them including 35 women and 70 men were interviewed for a second time and 81 of the candidates including 33 women and 48 men were eventually accepted as eligible for the membership of the AIHRC and introduced to the Presidential Palace, the statement added.

“The joint civil society committee is proud of discharging its responsibility according to the presidential decree and procedure of the joint civil society committee with honesty and impartiality, this committee requests the Presidential Palace and the review committee to select members of AIHRC from the list in the shortest time possible so the commission continues its activities,” the statement said.

As the office term of the current commissioners ended four months back, the Presidential Palace released the decree for identifying and appointing new members of the AIHRC.

Based on the decree, the chief justice is head of the review committee with the attorney general, justice minister, women’s affairs minister and head of Independent Commission for Overseeing the Implementation of Constitution (ICOIC) members of the committee.

The committee would suggest 27 individuals to the President for final approval as AIHRC members in consideration of the organizational and authorities law of the commission.

The article 1 of the organizational and authorities law of the AIHRC says: “The work group should be comprised of seven members from representatives of the civil society for simplification of the appointment of AIHRC members through a transparent and inclusive process.”

Introduction of 81 individuals for AIHRC membership also drew some criticism.

Khushal Khalil, who nominated as commissioner and was selected in the list of 110 individuals, said that people occupying these positions must have educationinfo-icon in legal studies and social sciences, work experience in the two areas and good background of human rights values according to the procedure for candidates.

Based on the Paris Principles, the candidates for membership of AIHRC should at least be able to represent one of intellectual, philosophic and jurisprudence schools, he said.

“I considered myself as eligible for the commissioner position of AIHRC as I have nine years of work experience in this commission, I have written for years about human rights… and I was the only candidate who prepared a written plan for improvement of human rights in the country,” he said.

He said he was included in the list of 110 candidates and he secured good marks, but his name was removed from the final list of 81 candidates. “In the final list, some candidates even do not know the ABC of human rights”, he concluded.

mds/ma

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