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AIHRC calls for ex-football federation head’s arrest

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KABUL: The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) says former head of football federation Keramuddin Karim should be immediately arrested and tried.

Karim is a wanted for raping girl footballers when in office a few years ago.

The human rights commission criticized delay in Karim’s arrest would strength impunity and people lose trust to government.

“The independent human rights commission wants Keramuddin Karim’s immediate arrest and trial. Enforcing of justice and access to justice are part of citizens’ rights. In case of lack of access to this right, a distance of distrust forms between people and government,” Shabnam Salehi, an official of the Commission said Wednesday.

Earlier, Shaharzad Akbar, Commission’s chairperson had criticized for the “controversial sexual abuse” that remained unsolved.

“Yes, unfortunately the impunity is still one of basic traumas in Afghanistan in the past two decades. The case of Karim is an example with very serious accusations but has not been arrested yet,” she had said.

Five female football players had alleged to have been sexually harassed by Karim from 2013 to 2018.

They were reportedly threatened by Karim who is a powerful jihadi commander that their families would be killed if they speak about the sexual abuse.

The Human Rights Watch said in a report released in 2019 that Karim and some of his colleagues at the Afghan football federation were accused by at least 20 women of sexual harassment.

Karim denies the accusations, despite the FIFA has confirmed he is guilty.

The FIFA asked Afghan attorney general office in June 2019 to arrest Karim.

The report said Karim was banned from football activities for ever and was fined for one million dollar.

Police launched an operation to arrest him in his birthplace in Panjshir valley, but they returned after Karim’s tribesmen took arms to prevent his arrest.
Khaleda Popal, a former football player who is now in Denmark, revealed sexual abuses by Karim for the first time to the Guardian in 2018.

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