Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Amnesty exposes, media ignores

On June 29, Amnesty International issued a statement regarding Afghanistan's justice system. In it, AI paints a very disturbing picture of the Karzai government, saying "widespread human rights abuses [are] being committed with impunity" while it raps Canada and our NATO allies for handing prisoners over to the National Security Directorate, which has a growing track record of human rights violations.

The Canadian media completely ignored the statement. Amnesty, which is quoted and cited in the major media outlets quite frequently, was completely shut out of the big newspapers.


...the ongoing failure of the Afghan government to uphold the rule of law and effectively guarantee fair and transparent justice which meets international standards is impeding the country’s progress, contributing to increased insecurity, poor governance, corruption, a burgeoning illicit drugs trade and widespread human rights violations being committed with impunity.
In addition, Amnesty International is increasingly concerned that national bodies such as Afghanistan’s intelligence agency the National Security Directorate (NSD), and provincial governments, who are charged with maintaining the rule of law are reportedly carrying out human rights violations, beyond the reach of justice.

In this context, Amnesty International is alarmed that under agreements between the Afghan government and NATO-contributing states, including Canada, the UK and the Netherlands, persons detained by NATO International Security Assistance Forces are being turned over to the NSD.
There appears to be little or no effort on the part of the Afghan authorities to reform the NSD...

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