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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The Maldives: Ensure safety of human rights defenders amid recent accusations of blasphemy against Maldivian Democracy Network

(Bangkok, 8 October 2019) – The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASA), together with undersigned civil society organisations, condemns the persecution of its member, the Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN), and expresses great concern about what potential consequences the recent accusations of blasphemy could have for the staff and members of MDN. Rather than fanning the flames of intolerance by calling for an emergency motion against MDN, authorities should call for calm and ensure the safety of all human rights defenders in the country.      We call on the Government of the Maldives to immediately take action against all those who harass, spread hate and incite violence. We understand that a police investigation has commenced against MDN and call on the Maldives Police Service to take legal action against those who incite violence and hate. On Thursday, 3 October 2019, the Islamic Ministry ordered a police investigation into MDN for a report issued in 2015, which addresses the spread of narratives promoting violent extremism, including messages within school textbooks. The Ministry accuses that the report: mocks Islam, as well as Prophet Mohammad; includes content that goes against the tenets of Islam, and potentially disrupts the religious unity of the Maldives. The Maldivian Constitution prohibits expression and opinion that contradict tenets of Islam, while the Penal Code criminalises blasphemy.  The current attack on MDN comes within the context of a history of vilification and harassment of those trying to counter violent extremism in the Maldives, including past attacks on MDN and its staff for legitimate human rights work. The accusations of blasphemy further the harassment of MDN that has been ongoing since 2014, and adds voices to it, including from the current opposition, various ruling party lawmakers, ministers and ruling coalition leaders.  The attacks also triggered a social media…

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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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Afghan organizations and Civil Society Activists Statement about “Joint way Forward” Union Treaty between Afghanistan and Europe on the return and deportation of asylum seekers and refugees, from Europe

In the name of Almighty Allah Afghan organizations and Civil Society Activists Statement about "Joint way Forward" Union Treaty between Afghanistan and Europe on the return and deportation of asylum seekers and refugees, from Europe October 20, 2016 Kabul, Afghanistan Afghan immigration and refugees is once again at the top of the political agenda. It has been a hot topic for many decades now. Unfortunately, as a result of a long and terrible wars in Afghanistan, millions of Afghans have had to flee various conflicts. Today Afghans make up the second largest refugee population in Europe after Syria. Alone in 2015, around 196,170 sought asylum in Europe. Those who have fled Afghanistan recently include unaccompanied Afghan youth (the largest national group in Europe), families and other vulnerable groups of people. Seeking safety, work to allow them to survive, and hope for their secured future, they risked a dangerous journey to reach Europe. Many families lost their loved ones en route. Whole families were drowned, and young boys have been beaten, sexually assaulted, tear gassed, robbed and shot crossing Iranian, Turkish and European borders. There were many Afghans among the 4,000 people were drowned in 2015 in the Mediterranean Sea, and the 3,000+ have lost their lives until October 2016. In spite of all these risks, many Afghans reached Europe, especially a large number of Afghan refugees and immigrants, according to the immigration policies of Angela Merkel, the German Prime Minister, to undertake difficulties abound, reached Germany where at first they were welcomed. However, other countries failed to show the same generosity as Mrs. Merkel, and so Germany received almost all the Afghans coming in the last year, plus many, many Syrians. Gradually, immigration policies of Angela Merkel, the German Prime Minister, was under internal pressures. As a result of…

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Call for Afghan organizations and civil society activists the political representatives of the United Nations, the Government of National Unity and the enlighting movement On the negotiations to get a fair solution

 In the Name of Almighty Allah Call for Afghan organizations and civil society activists the political representatives of the United Nations, the Government of National Unity and the enlighting movement  On the negotiations to get a fair solution September 19, 2016  Kabul, Afghanistan Given the troubles due to new developments in security and foreign policy, national unity government based on regional cooperation, in particular to strengthen relations with countries like India, which circles the pro-Taliban and terrorist groups in the region are considered as a threat and serious abstraction. Enemies of Afghanistan will not hesitate in the creation of any disaster and damage to the system and the people of Afghanistan. With the expectation of a successful transition of this situation, to safeguard the stability of the system and prevent another humanitarian catastrophe, that might be sacrifice of military and civilians seeking justice, hence requires the leadership of the national unity government and the enlighting movement, by more farseeing and restraint, to enter a new phase of negotiations and their concepts, to reach a fair solution. On the basis of Afghan institutions and civil society activists, to prevent another human catastrophe and to the formation of a new phase of dialogue and understanding among the conventional National Unity Government and the enlighting movement, the present calls to discuss with the following provisions: 1- Organizations and Afghan civil society activists, suggest that the government and the Supreme Council of the popular movement, the enlighting movement, will discuss their creation of a transparent mechanism for negotiations, enunciated the honor and the process of direct negotiations, mediated by the representative of United Nations in Afghanistan and the regulatory community of Civil society organizations to be accepted;  2- Afghan organizations and civil society activists, the political representatives of the United Nations in Afghanistan, requests…

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Position Paper for Brussels Conference on Afghanistan (Oct 4-5)

Civils Society and Human Rights Network (CSHRN) Position Paper for Brussels Conference on Afghanistan (Oct 4-5)  Hassan Ali Faiz Background The 2004 Constitution of Afghanistan, lays strong foundation for protection and promotion of human rights and sets up institutional mechanisms to ensure their protection. Article 58 of the Constitution establishes the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. Afghanistan is also signatory to seven of nine core international human rights treaties in addition to Rome Statute. Afghanistan has had several distinct human rights achievements in the past fourteen years but with the ongoing security, economic and political transformation - which will have impact on human rights - the hard-won gains are more fragile than ever. If these achievements are not consolidated, it is feared that they may roll back as the overall human rights situation is deteriorating on several fronts. There are clear indications of declining respect for human rights. Alarming level of women rights violations, deteriorating security situation, recurring impunity of abusers, growing corruption, and weakened efficacy of Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission indicate waning determination on the part of the government of Afghanistan to respect, protect and fulfill human rights. The most significant human rights problems in Afghanistan include among others, violence against women, civilian casualties, torture and arbitrary detention, abusive security forces, freedom of expression and press; discrimination and internal displacements. ……………………………………………… Read The PDF

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Announcement For All Civil Society activists and Representatives, Interested in Participating to Brussels Conference on Afghanistan

(Brussels, Belgium 4-5 October 2016) On October 4th -5th , the European Union and the government of Afghanistan will co-host the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan .This is an open competition for all Afghan Civil Society activists and advocates throughout the country interested in representing Afghan Civil Society in the conference. Since May 2016, the Civil Society Working Committee (SCWC), composed by a group of NGOs, networks and Civil Society umbrella organizations, is working in close collaboration with the British and Irish Group for Afghanistan (BAAG) to: Enable an Afghan delegation of 10 Civil Society representatives to the BCA Develop the Afghan Civil Society’s position paper at the BCA Enhance Afghan civil society’s advocacy efforts and interactions with the Nation Unity Government and the international community after the BCA. How to apply Interested applicants should comply with the set of criteria detailed below and send their application (CV+ cover letter) to the SCWC secretariat by 00:00 hrs, 17 August 2016 Applications should be sent by email to the secretariat to the following email addresses: civilsociety.bca@gmail.com  and civilsociety@yahooweb.com Selection process Ten representatives will be selected. To ensure transparency, the selection jury will be assigned by the Civil Society Working Committee and composed of representatives from the Civil Society. The Jury will be observed by two additional independent bodies: United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). Requirements Through its broad consultation with national NGOs and civil society groups, a set of criteria was developed by SCWC. All civil society applicants are kindly advised to strictly follow the below criteria before sending their applications: Afghan with valid travel document: All CS representatives, who have valid passport (minimum 6 months validity), can apply. Possessing of valid travel documents is the sole responsibility of the applicant.…

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CSHRN’s statement regarding the martyrdom of Tolo TV’s staff

 In the Name of Almighty Allah CSHRN's statement regarding the martyrdom of Tolo TV's staff January 21, 2016 Kabul-Afghanistan Unfortunately, the vampire terrorists caused a disaster once again and showed-off their anti-human and anti-Islamic nature. The tragic disaster of Tolo TV brought into grief many families, media and the people of Afghanistan. The Civil Society and Human Rights Network of Afghanistan (CSHRN) besides strongly condemning this unforgivable terrorist attack on the employees of Tolo TV & Kaboora production, considers it an attack on the freedom of expression, Islamic norms and international principles in relation to human rights and international humanitarian law and an explicit crime against humanity. The terrorists should realize that they will get nothing more, but the hate and disgust of the Afghan people and the world for doing such terrorist acts. The Afghan media, civil society and the people of Afghanistan will stand firm against such terrorist attacks. CSHRN requests the Afghan government to as soon as possible recognize the perpetrators of this terrible disaster and submit them to the judicial bodies. In addition, the Afghan government should ensure the safety of the journalists in the country. Unfortunately, there are still some countries that use the terrorist groups as a tool of challenging the peace, stability and security of the region, hence, we repeatedly ask the United Nations and the whole stabilized world to put the required pressure on the regional supporters of terrorism and assist the defenseless people of Afghanistan as per the charter of the United Nations and other International obligations. At the end, once again we express our deepest sympathy with the survivors of the martyrs, the Afghan media community and the suffering people of Afghanistan. We hope paradise for the martyrs of this deadly attack and soon recovery for the wounded…

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CSHRN’s Message on Electing Ms. Taiba Khawari as the Head of Bamyan provincial council

In the name of Almighty Allah CSHRN’s Message on Electing Ms. Taiba Khawari as the Head of Bamyan provincial council Nov 23, 2014 Kabul-Afghanistan The Civil Society and Human Rights Network of Afghanistan (CSHRN) is pleased from extensive and active participation of Bamyan people in the 2014 Afghan elections for electing their representatives for the provincial council of Bamyan province. Election is one of the main principles of democracy in which people carry out their major responsibilities through casting their votes for choosing prominent representatives who will represent the wills of the citizens. Provincial councils are democratic institutions in which its members change “power” into “legitimate authority” via playing significant and constructive role. Presence of such honest and accountable individuals in institutions that represent the will of the citizens will guarantee Dynamism and efficiency of these institutions and will also have a direct impact on the satisfaction of citizens and sustainable legitimacy of the system. The honorable members of the provincial council of Bamyan province have proven the democratic capacity and civil will through Electing Ms. Taiba Khawari as the head of the provincial council of Bamyan province and recorded the pride of electing the first woman for the presidency of the provincial council, by the name of the ancient Bamyan province. The Civil Society and Human Rights Network of Afghanistan considers the selection of Ms. Taiba Khawari to this position,  as a great and practical measure for strengthening  women’s right in the country and hope it will be an auspicious start for strengthening women’s role and their real participation in the society. We appreciate this wise and great election of Bamyan provincial council’s members and honestly announce our constructive collaboration with Ms. Taiba Khawari and the respectful provincial council of Bamyan province.   In hope of a…

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Joint statement of CSHRN & Nai supporting Afghanistan’s Open Media On the approval of the Law on Access to Information

In the name of Almighty Allah Joint statement of CSHRN & Nai supporting Afghanistan's Open Media On the approval of the Law on Access to Information July 02. 2014 Kabul Afghanistan The Afghan parliament approved the Law on Access to Information containing 6 chapters and 32 articles with the majority of votes on Monday, 30th of June.2014. The law on access to information was under the review of the governmental agencies for almost three years, and about two months ago, it was sent to the house of the people for approval. The main discussion on the law on access to information as one of the main human rights of the citizens was conducted by CSHRN for the first time in 2005, and then its first draft was prepared by one of CSHRN's working group in Mazar-e-Sharif. The mentioned draft law was completed after the continuous and non-tiring efforts of CSHRN and its member organizations, Nai Supporting Afghanistan Open Media, civil activists, journalists and extensive national consultations across the country. After its completion, the draft law was sent to the national assembly after extensive and deep review and assessment by the ministry of culture and information, ministry of justice, council of ministers and the high council of media to be approved. We consider the approval of the law on Access to Information by the national assembly a significant step in promoting transparency and accountability and effectiveness of development programs in Afghanistan. The Law will provide great opportunities and pave the way for fighting corruption and strengthening the role of media in providing information. Nai supporting Afghanistan open media and Civil Society & Human Rights Network of Afghanistan (CSHRN) beside thanking and praising the Afghan lower house for passing the mentioned law, states the bellow point in connection to that:…

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