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 Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes 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.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More