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Afghanistan's Lower House of Parliament Approves Revised Amnesty Bill


Afghanistan's lower house of parliament has passed a revised version of a resolution that calls for amnesty for Afghans accused of war crimes during more than two decades of conflict.

President Hamid Karzai earlier Saturday returned the controversial bill to parliament with revisions. The altered resolution recognizes victims' rights to seek justice against alleged war criminals.

The previous version of the bill provided blanket amnesty for Afghans who fought against the Soviet occupation in the 1980s and then plunged Afghanistan into civil war after the Soviet withdrawal. This proposed new version provides some safeguards for victims' rights.

International rights groups have urged the Afghan government to hold trials for people accused of war crimes and other rights abuses. The accused include members of the Afghan parliament.

Supporters of the amnesty bill say it will promote reconciliation and peace in Afghanistan. But some lawmakers and government officials say there cannot be peace if war criminals escape justice.

Both houses of parliament approved the initial version of the bill earlier this year.