Statement of the Afghan Civil Society and Human Rights Organizations

Statement01-07The Civil Society and Human Rights Organizations in 29-December-2011 organized a press conference on the occasion of their demands from State regarding the extension of tenure and appointment of AIHRC commissioners in Kabul Safi landmark conference hall.

In this press conference the representative of Civil Society Organizations and Media participated. Right now we post the statement of civil society and human rights organizations that presented by Mr. Naim Nazari the coordinator of CSHRO.

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In the name of Almighty Allah

Statement of the Afghan Civil Society and Human Rights Organizations

December 29th, 2011

Kabul-Afghanistan

Members of the Afghan Civil Society participated in a consultative meeting on the dismissal of three Commissioners of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), with President, Hamid Karzai, on December 27 th , 2011.

Unfortunately, the press release from the Government Media and Information Center (GMIC) suggests that the Civil Society organizations demanded the dismissal of all nine Commissioners of AIHRC. While the Afghan Civil Society and Human Rights activists appreciate and praise the tireless efforts of AIHRC, they strongly urge the Government Media and Information Center of President’s Office to correct the misleading information in the press release.

We, the Afghan Civil Society and Human Rights activists firmly believe that the dismissal of all Commissioners will result in loss of institutional memory and the disruption as well as discontinuity of AIHRC’s work. The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission is a special body and we fear that substantial restructuring of AIHRC personnel (Commissioners) will create an opportunity for irresponsible individuals to dominate this independent body: Violators of human rights, their supporters, individuals with no believe in human rights values or with no relevant qualification. In the in view of the current administrative, political, realities, security issues and the prevailing culture of impunity, injustice and oppression, these concerns become increasingly predominant.

Therefore, we, the Afghan Civil Society and Human Rights organizations, in compliance with the Civil Society and Human Rights Network (CSHRN) Statement, the Paris Declaration and United Nations General Assembly Resolution # 134 (September 20 th , 1993, referring to the monitoring of human rights conditions), have the following demands:

  • The replacement and appointment of new Commissioners has to be based on the Paris Declaration, which demands transparent and inclusive consultation with the Civil Society and Human Rights advocates. This is also stated in the Charta of Organizational Structure, Duties and Responsibilities of the AIHRC, ratified on 12/02/1384. The Afghan Civil Society organizations request the Government of Afghanistan to adhere to these principles of the Paris Declaration and the AIHRC Charta. The Paris Declaration provides clear guidelines, criteria and values for the selection of Commissioners for the Human Rights institutions, among these independence of thought, believe in human rights principles and values, expertise and knowledge, no affiliation with political parties or movements, and good reputation.
  • The Civil Society and Human Rights activists are deeply concerned about the lack of independence and the future structure of the Commission. These concerns get even more serious when the selection criteria for new appointments are not being observed. If the appoin tments of Commissioners are based on the preferences of the government, and if there is no transparent national process and consultation with Civil Society Organizations, this will clearly be in opposition of the Afghan Constitution, Afghanistan ‘s commitment to international treaties and the Afghan government’s commitment’s of the Bonn Conference on December 5 th , 2011.
  • In the light of the worsening security situations, the Afghan Civil Society and Human Rights activists are under constant threats, including the Commissioners of AIHRC. For that reason the government should take their responsibility to ensure their safety and security.
  • Given that Afghanistan has gone through decades of war, injustice and human rights violations, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission has invaluable evidence on human rights abuses and the perpetrators. Replacement and appointment of individuals who do not believe in human right values and justice could endanger credibility of the Commission and undermine the trust and safety of the victims.
  • According to the declaration issued at the Bonn Conference on Afghanistan on December 5 th , 2011, the Government of Afghanistan is obliged to support democratic institutions and processes. Especially the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission. The Government should guarantee Good Governance, Rule of Law and Human Rights, so that not only the Afghan people, but also the international community will be assured that Afghanistan is moving forward towards a prosperous and secure future.
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