Amnesty International censures Afghan govt for turning its back on “human rights” 

Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty in Kabul during the launch of its report titled “Their Lives on the Line,” on Tuesday. The report lambasted the Afghan government for turning its back on human rights and leaving rights activists to fend for themselves. (TOT PHOTO)

APRIL 07, KABUL, Afghanistan: Amnesty International (AI) in its report titled “Their Lives on the Line” launched on Tuesday on the plight of those women rights activists in Afghanistan—a war ravaged country, who face violence such as sexual assaults, and targeted assassinations. The report said that has been much unfortunate women rights defenders are overlooked by the Afghan government despite the phenomenal achievements they have made.

The report adds that those who work for women rights, such as activists, lawyers, doctors, teachers, and newsmen have been targeted not only by non-state actors such as the Taliban, armed groups, warlords but also by government officials. The international human rights body also lashed at the international community and said it has been doing much little to improve the situation. The report says the laws aimed at supporting human rights are poorly implemented.

The Secretary General of Amnesty, in Kabul, Salil Shetty, said that women rights defenders from all walks of life have fought fearlessly and indeed human rights have made some major gains in the past 14 years. “Some of the rights defenders have even lost their lives to the service of others,” he said. Rights activists have suffered grenade attacks on homes, assassinations, killing of family members, and even at times car bombings, she said. Shetty added that many still continue their work despite come across multiple attacks. “They know the perpetrators are powerful and there will be no action against them but despite their continuation of human rights activism is more than just appreciation,” Shetty said.

The Secretary General added that it’s much appalling that authorities are paying no heed to them which leave them to fend-off on their own, which is really a dangerous situation to be caught in. Shetty said that coalition troops withdrawal is near to complete and many in the international community look escaping as they avoid touching upon some serious issues which means they sweep Afghanistan under the carpet. “But despite that we cannot overlook Afghanistan and those who risk their lives to serve others and emancipate,” Shetty vowed.

“Much of the money is drying up as there has been a huge international investment in causes of women’s rights but despite that little development is a matter of serious concerns,” he said.

“Earlier Taliban were responsible for majority of attacks against women rights activists however now the government officials have also started walking the same route,” the Secretary General said. The Amnesty held interviews with over 50 women activists and their family members across Afghanistan and concluded that threats were coming from all sides and authorities were ignoring and at certain cases refusing to follow serious threats against women.

(The Oslo Times)

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