In the name of Almighty Allah
The statement of CSHRN about the adoption and signature of the “The Private Life of Shias”
by the president
(Translated from the Statement in Dari)
03 April 2009 Kabul, Afghanistan
Recently, the parliament of Afghanistan, the Shura e Meli, adopted a new legislation on “The private (family) life of Shias”. This legislation was signed by Hamid Karzai, the president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. To draft, adopt and sign such a legislation, created a broad national and international reaction. The adoption of this law resulted in civil society, human rights activists, Afghan intellectuals and Afghan persons influential on the public opinion expressing major concerns regarding the implementation of this legislation.
• Adopting and signing this legislation is against the values of the Holy Islam as well as against the international principles of human rights. The values anchored there deeply respect the important role of women and mothers in society.
• Adopting and signing this document is to impair the weak body of the rule of law in Afghanistan, because the rule of law is based on social and public reality, the priority of human values, the common will, sustainable reforms and respect for the constitution.
• Adopting and signing this document is against the international commitments the Afghan state has assumed with regard to international human rights including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women. The adoption of this new law took place after the Afghan government had committed itself to the principles of human rights in the Universal Periodic Review report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council.
• Adopting this legislation is a blow against the role of the parliament in Afghanistan because the adoption of a law according to an ideological and religious community will put into question the capacity and the efficiency of the Afghan Parliament.
• The adoption and signature of this document will badly damage the role of women in the field of economic, social, political and cultural spheres in society. The restriction of the role of women will negatively influence the national economy of Afghanistan.
• The adoption and implementation of this legalisation will affect negatively the support to Afghanistan by the international community. A decrease of this support will harm the process of reconstruction and rehabilitation of Afghanistan and the Afghan people will loose the momentum created through the strong support of the international community to Afghanistan.
CSHRN would like to ask all members of the parliament to provide the condition for a renewed consultation regarding this law. We would like to ask the members of the parliament to start a constructive dialogue with civil society, religious leaders, intellectuals, lawyers, political parties, and the private sector in Afghanistan.
CSHRN would like to ask the members of the parliament to consider a constructive and constant dialogue with civil society, human rights groups, individual experts, and intellectuals before drafting and adopting new laws in Afghanistan. This will ensure that the voice and the hopes of the Afghan population are included into the Afghan legislation.
CSHRN believes that the drafting and adopting of legislations represents a huge responsibility and needs to reflect the commitment of the Afghan people and the state to international principles. We ask the Afghan parliament to show their dedication and to deeply study a subject before adopting new legislations for Afghanistan.
CSHRN would like to express its interest in cooperating in a constructive dialogue with Afghan parliamentarians and other key stakeholders are interested in reforms.
We hope for respect for the rule of law and for the promotion of human rights in Afghanistan.