News / Asia

Afghan Police Accused of Violence Against Women

Afghan policemen stand in line near Kabul airport, June 10, 2013. Nearly 15 percent of so-called honor killings and sexual assaults in Afghanistan are committed by police, according to an independent human rights commission.
Afghan policemen stand in line near Kabul airport, June 10, 2013. Nearly 15 percent of so-called honor killings and sexual assaults in Afghanistan are committed by police, according to an independent human rights commission.
Reuters
— Afghanistan's human rights commission has accused the police of  a significant amount of violence against women, saying it threatened to undermine public trust in the security forces as they prepare to take full charge of the country.
 
Though Afghan women have made gains since the collapse of the austere Taliban regime in 2001, violence against them remains widespread. There are fears the gains made could be lost when most foreign forces leave by the end of next year.
 
Nearly 15 percent of so-called honor killings and sexual assaults were committed by police, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission said in a report, citing findings gathered from more than two years of data.
 
“This issue can harm public confidence and trust [in our] national police,'' the commission said.
 
Honor killings are attacks by a member of a family or a tribe, usually carried out by a man, against another member, usually a women, because of a perception that the victim brought dishonor to the group.
 
The commission said it had documented 163 cases of sexual assault and 243 honor killings throughout the country from the beginning of 2011 to the end of May 2013.
 
It said that given the high rate of under-reporting, the real number of cases was probably much higher.
 
“Due to severe traditional sensitivities and cultural obstacles, a large number of such cases are kept secret.''
 
The Interior Ministry, which is responsible for the police, rejected the report and said the force had made significant progress towards safeguarding human rights.
 
The Afghan parliament last month failed to pass a controversial law banning violence against women, dealing another blow to fragile progress made on women rights.
 
President Hamid Karzai approved the Elimination of Violence Against Women Law by decree in 2009 but it required parliamentary approval before it could be enshrined. The decree banned forced and underage marriage, beatings and rape.
 
Last month, the law was put before parliament but a rift between conservative and progressive members resulted in it being deferred, with conservatives warning of “blood on the streets'' if it were ever passed.
 
“The cultural impunity and the lack of follow up of these cases by different organizations and authorities is something we're very concerned about,'' said rights commission chairwoman Sima Samar.
 
Despite billions of dollars in foreign aid poured into the country Over more than a decade, Afghanistan is regularly declared to be one of the most dangerous places to be a woman.
 
As the international presence shrinks, many women fear a return to the conditions they faced under the Taliban.
 
Afghanistan's 152,000 police are routinely accused of abuses and critics say their behavior has pushed many villagers into the ranks of the insurgency.

You May Like

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid