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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid