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

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid