Civil Society and Human Rights Network position paper in connection with the start of intra-Afghan negotiations

The start of direct talks between the representatives of the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban - after the fulfillment of the conditions by both parties to the conflict - is promising for the people of Afghanistan who have borne the brunt of nearly half a century conflict making peace an unattainable dream. The citizens of Afghanistan are looking forward to an inclusive and lasting peace in which the concerns of all parties to the conflict and the victims of the war are attended.  With this in mind, the Civil Society and Human Rights Network (CSHRN), as an umbrella body, comprising of civil society, human rights, media, and women rights organizations put forward issues related to peace talks if taken into account the peace process will lead to a more durable outcome. Else, there is a fear of falling into another chaos.The CSHRN recommendations:1. Justice:• Injustice is the main problem in Afghanistan. Afghans want justice and their desire to achieve equality in the country is paramount. Justice (especially social justice) is an important prerequisite of sustainable, inclusive, and lasting peace. Peace without justice and justice without peace is frail. If the current democratic political system is an item of discussion, we expect the government negotiators not to compromise on justice, economic, social, and cultural rights.• During the 40 years of war, millions of Afghans have fallen victim to oppression and injustice. An important contributing factor has been impunity. Experience from other parts of the world shows that the more just a peace process is, the more stable would be. Therefore, we call on the negotiating parties to pave the way for the implementation of transitional justice. The process may include steps from a trial of perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and mass murder to repression and…

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Civil Society & Human Rights Network – CSHRN

Advocacy Committee for the Inclusion of Non-dominant Minorities in the Peace Process (ACINMPP)On June 4th, 2020 Human Rights and Eradication of Violence Organization (HREVO) with joint coordination with Civil Society and Human Rights Network (CSHRN) arranged a meeting with heads/representatives of non-dominant minorities’ respective councils to discuss the absence and lack of representation of the non-dominant minorities in the Afghan Peace Process led by the High Council for National Reconciliation.The heads of the respective councils have demanded that foundational changes are required if we are to achieve a long-lasting peace. The representatives are greatly concerned that neither the government nor the Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Mr. Zalmai Khalilzad have contacted or consulted them regarding the peace process. Furthermore, the representatives have demanded that each non-dominant minority must have a representative at the negotiation table, and is not doing so the legitimacy of the peace process will be questioned.Therefore, the members have unanimously decided to the formation of a central joint advocacy committee where HREVO and CSHRN will serve the role secretariat and heads of the councils as members. The committee has pledged to uphold the constitutional rights of these minorities by giving them a voice and thereby campaigning and protesting for a seat(s) at the negotiating table.The committee also plans to have the monthly sessions and continuously fight for the rights of the non-dominant minorities.

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Attack on civilian targets is in no way acceptable.

 This morning, terrorist groups stormed a civilian hospital in Kabul and attacked a funeral ceremony in Nangarhar province. Killing of civilians is in direct violation of domestic and international laws, and is a crime against humanity. The Civil Society and Human Rights Network (CSHRN) calls on the Afghan government to take immediate actions to stop the attacks on civilian targets.

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Press Release Regarding the Terrorist Attack on Sikh Religious Minority in Afghanistan

The CSHRN accounts the brutal suicide attack on the Sikh religious minority in Afghanistan unacceptable and is highly concerned about the rise of such heinous attack targeting the religious minorities in the country. Such acts are not only against the principles of Human Rights and the International Humanitarian law, but also it is in direct contradiction with the overt provisions of holy Islam. The suicide attack took place on Sikh ethnic minority in Kabul on March 25, which culminated in 30 deaths and injuries including men, women, and children once again proved that terrorists do not recognize any norms and values. In the meantime, this attack manifested the vulnerability of the religious minorities in the country and impress the need that: The Afghan government must immediately investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice; The security sector must take preventive measures to stop such attacks in the future; The respective institutions must promptly provide all the humanitarian aid necessary to the victims of this abhorrent attack. Civil Society and Human Rights Network and Human Rights and Eradication of Violence Organization Kabul, Afghanistan March 26, 2020

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Press Release by the Civil Society and Human Rights Network (CSHRN) on Recent Crises in the Country.

Resolving post-election disputes, unconditional ceasefire, and an reduction in aid from friendly countries to Afghanistan is an urgent need to prevent the escalation of the crises in the country. Press Release by the Civil Society and Human Rights Network (CSHRN) on recent Crises in the country As a common threat to all human beings, the COVID-19 virus is rapidly spilling over everywhere in the world and Afghanistan. Due to protected armed conflict, Afghanistan has lost its infrastructure, the country is now on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe more than any other time in the past. The spread of the COVID-19 virus has crossed all political, ethnic, religious and ideological lines and is threatening the country as a whole. Although official statistics confirmed only 42 infectious cases so far, the assumption is presumably much higher than announced.  On the other hand, the post-electoral disputes between the two forerunning electoral teams have diverted attention to contain the crises, paving further instability and diminishing global confidence on the Afghan government. As the biggest supporter of the Afghan government, the U.S. Department of State has recently warned that it will cut $1 billion in aid to Afghanistan as the result of political disputes between the two electoral rivals. This has added further concerns to the already problems in Afghanistan. Based on these considerations, therefore, the CSHRN, as a premier organization for civil and human rights in the country, recommends to all parties (government, political parties, the Taliban, and the international community): Now is the best time for an unconditional ceasefire in the country. To prevent a humanitarian crisis and to save the lives of their own people, the Afghan government and the Taliban must declare a ceasefire without any preconditions until the end of the crisis stemmed from the spread of…

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Radio Program on International Humanitarian Law (IHL)

programme consists of two parts: analysis and debate. An international lawyer with expertise in international law prepares an analysis of the situation. Then the moderator of the radio programme asks questions from the guests invited in the program according to this analysis. The main focus of the programme is to deliberate questions regarding the killing of innocent people during military operations, the conditions of prisoners of war, the conditions in the prisons controlled by international military troops in Afghanistan, the role of the international community in monitoring IHL in Afghanistan, the role of the Afghan state and the international community regarding IHL and … The programme is aired once a month by Good Morning Afghanistan with the collaboration of the Civil Society and Human Rights Network. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Afghan Civil Society Activists and Organizations Statement About National Unity Government on the peace agreement with the Armed opposition groups

In the name of Almighty Allah  Afghan Civil Society Activists and Organizations Statement About National Unity Government on the peace agreement with the Armed opposition groups 27 Aqrab 1395, of November 17, 2016 Kabul, Afghanistan Peace talks with armed groups involved in the Afghan system is an integral part of official policy of Afghanistan since more than a decade. Despite the persistent efforts and high political and economic investments, conflict continues in Afghanistan and every year more other layers are added. Due to the inefficiency and failure of the Afghan government's peace policy in the three and a half decades, still the parties to the conflict do not respect the demands and sacrifices of people and recommendations of civil society and human rights organizations for current structural transition from conflict. It has been more than a decade since Afghan peace talks with Taliban continues; but not only Peace was not in amid, but even we have not witnessed durable ceasefire and cessation of the conflict. Despair, frustration and cynicism of the citizens of Afghanistan to the official policy of peace and reconciliation of the warring groups becomes more and more widespread each day. Recently, two important and promising issue about the Afghan government and the International Criminal Court, in connection with the logical and legal termination of Afghanistan conflicts have been proposed. Last week, Afghan President in a meeting with the delegation of the United Nations, demanded to include the name of the leader of the Taliban and other terrorist in the black list of the United Nations. The request can be considered as a turning point, in a serious struggle with terrorist groups, which is a major cause of human rights violations and humanitarian law in conflicts in Afghanistan. On other hand, prosecutor’s office of International Criminal…

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Consultation with the civil society organizations on the situation of minorities in Afghanistan

At the beginning of the new chapter of its activities, Civil Society and Human Rights Network (CSHRN) has begun to address the legal status of minorities as one of its priorities. On this occasion, on October 27, 2019, CSHRN held a consultation meeting with a number of civil society activists, elites and university professors. The participants discussed their views, criticisms and suggestions on the situation of minorities and ethnicities in Afghanistan. In this program, they shared views regarding the discrimination in the laws (written and unwritten) culture, society, politics and economy of Afghanistan. It was emphasized in the program that eliminating ethnic, linguistic, and religious discrimination is the government’s basic responsibility in eradicating any kind of supremacy through enacting laws and other mechanisms. According to these activists, discrimination is structured to the extent that divides the citizens into first, second and third degrees. When a province is put in the third degree, then that province is two level lower than the first degree provinces in terms of development, and welfare. Development of health, education, economy and culture of that province is the third priority. This in turn has caused population congestion in the first degree provinces and has transformed the productive force into a consumer force in the first provinces. Through its constructive advocacy and engagement with the government, CSHRN is determined to co-ordinate minority rights programs.

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Afghanistan: In rare move, government launches investigations into systematic sexual abuse of children

Press release Geneva/Kabul, 7 January 2020 – Two human rights organisations welcome the move by the Attorney General’s Office of Afghanistan to initiate investigations into the systematic and culturally widely accepted sexual abuse of boys by State officials, warlords and other powerful individuals. This follows evidence collected by two human rights defenders on hundreds of such cases in the Logar province, in the eastern part of the country. “This is a remarkable development” said Sayed Hussain Anosh, Executive Director of the Civil Society and Human Rights Network (CSHRN). “We very much welcome the investigation into the widespread sexual abuse of children, a tabooed practice that has been ignored by the public and the government alike for decades.” In November 2019, Ehsanullah Hamidi and Musa Mahmoudi, who worked for CSHRN, revealed the sexual abuse of hundreds of boys from six different schools in the Logar province, with teachers, headmasters and local officials involved. Shortly afterwards, the two human rights defenders received threats and were arbitrarily detained by the National Directorate of Security for several days. While kept incommunicado, the defenders were forced to make an apology on camera for their research being “incorrect” and “incomplete". All of this however changed in December, when the Attorney General’s Office stated that it would investigate the cases, and senior members of the office have now started to look into the evidence collected by the two human rights defenders. Afghanistan has a long history of sexual abuse of children by private individuals as well as State officials, amounting to torture and other ill-treatment. The practice of Bachabazi (meaning “dancing boys” or “boys play”) is a contemporary form of child sex slavery. The boys, who often come from impoverished families, dress as women and perform as dancers at private parties before being raped by their masters and others. Bachabazi and practices…

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Consultation with the civil society organizations on the situation of minorities in Afghanistan

At the beginning of the new chapter of its activities, Civil Society and Human Rights Network (CSHRN) has begun to address the legal status of minorities as one of its priorities. On this occasion, on October 27, 2019, CSHRN held a consultation meeting with a number of civil society activists, elites and university professors. The participants discussed their views, criticisms and suggestions on the situation of minorities and ethnicities in Afghanistan. In this program, they shared views regarding the discrimination in the laws (written and unwritten) culture, society, politics and economy of Afghanistan. It was emphasized in the program that eliminating ethnic, linguistic, and religious discrimination is the government’s basic responsibility in eradicating any kind of supremacy through enacting laws and other mechanisms. According to these activists, discrimination is structured to the extent that divides the citizens into first, second and third degrees. When a province is put in the third degree, then that province is two level lower than the first degree provinces in terms of development, and welfare. Development of health, education, economy and culture of that province is the third priority. This in turn has caused population congestion in the first degree provinces and has transformed the productive force into a consumer force in the first provinces. Through its constructive advocacy and engagement with the government, CSHRN is determined to co-ordinate minority rights programs.

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