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Editorial: Justice must be done

Authorities in Afghanistan are investigating allegations that senior male officials have sexually and physically assaulted members of the national women’s soccer team. Attorney General’s Office has started issuing overseas travel bans over Afghanistan Football Federation president Keramuddin Karim and four other federation members after graphic details emerged of alleged sexual and physical abuse against members of the women’s national team. Karim is one of the men accused of the physical, mental and sexual abuse of footballers on the Afghan women’s national team an allegations that are now being investigated by Afghan government and the FIFA as well. The federation members who have been banned from traveling include Keramuddin Karim, head of Afghanistan Football Federation, Nader Alemi, head of goalkeepers’ committee, Sayed Ali Reza Aqazada, secretary general of the federation, Abdul Saboor Walizada, head of provinces relations, and Rustam, an employee of the federation. Per accusation, Karim had a hidden bedroom that only opened with hand print scanner where he had a bed, and he also accused of several misbehaves ranging from serious sexual and physical assault to harassment and threats to national women’s soccer team and their family members. So the case is under investigation, and in case Karim or other staffers found guilty will defiantly treated based on the Constitution. Indeed it is a horrific and brutal story of violence against women. Afghanistan is among those countries where violence against women is still a great challenge. But in regards to female Afghan football team, there is high faith on attorney general as currently they are probing the case very carefully and important measures have already been taken. What is necessary in this case is accuracy. The accusation against football employees, including their president must be probed seriously. It should not be followed blindly. There is full trust in Afghanistan’s attorney general for carrying out a comprehensive probe into the case and bring the culprit to justice once they proved guilty—it means that the punishment must be just and deserved, and seen as much. Moreover, it should be open and public, we should not punish the guilty in secret and in isolation. Transparency is not only necessary for the system to remain corruption free but also to remind everyone of the tool they have to pay while satisfying the victim that the state will not spare anyone who committee a very anti-Islamic, and inhuman crime of abusing women, and that against female athletes who brought us pride and wave our flag in international platforms.

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