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Drumhead court-martials on the rise in Ghor

AT News

KABUL: Sessions of the drumhead court-martials is increasing in the central province of Ghor, in which, people accused of crimes are sentenced by local clerics, tribal elders or influential figures while no government officials are present.

The elders’ councils are influential in the remote areas since several decades. The councils assess legal and criminal cases and act as courts without courts.

Azizollah, a resident of the Dolina district in the mountain-surrounded Ghor, said Tuesday that people go to tribal elders or Taliban to solve their legal problems.

“Most of the cases are referred to the drumhead court-martials instead of official courts. Sometimes, they go to Taliban and ask them to solve their problems.”

Ahmad Khan from the Saghar district, said people go to unofficial bodies for legal cases since there is no government source in the district. “In the areas where government doesn’t have access, people go either to elders’ council and spend money for solving their problems, or they go to Taliban. The government doesn’t pay attention to this big problem.”

“In addition to Taliban, people go to tribal elders as the government in some villages as the government cannot reach them. We saw many cases solved by Taliban. They rule here away from the law and they have their own law. Of course, they vote in favor of those who have common interests with them,” said Abdul Rahman Atshan, deputy head of provincial council.

Mohammad Aref Aber, provincial spokesman, said that going to tribal elders is an old tradition in the province, but said that Taliban take advantage from the tradition to suppress the law.

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