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‘Human rights defenders in Afghanistan facing intimidation’

AT Monitoring Desk

KABUL: The human rights defenders in Afghanistan are facing intimidation, harassment, threats and violence, said Amnesty International, adding human rights community is under intensifying attack from both the Kabul authorities and armed groups.

Against the backdrop of escalating violence in Afghanistan, human rights defenders and activists have been largely ignored by the Afghan government and the international community, it said in a statement.

The government of Afghanistan needs to immediately adopt an independent, effective and implementable protection mechanism for HRDs in the country, to ensure their safety and support, the amnesty added.

“Human rights defenders play an integral role in Afghan society and have promoted civic education, awareness of human rights, carried out their own research into human rights violations and abuses through ‘shadow reports’, and advocated for an end to serious human rights violations, including discrimination and violence against women and minorities,” the press reads.

“In speaking up for and working to defend human rights, human rights defenders in Afghanistan are continuously facing intimidation, harassment, threats and violence – from both the authorities and armed groups. They have been vilified as “western spies”, “anti-religious” and “anti-culture”. In deeply conservative parts of the country, they have dared to speak up for human rights in defiance of local
religious leaders,” it added.

Amnesty International cited that article six of the constitution says that “the state shall be obligated to create a prosperous and progressive society based on social justice, preservation of human dignity, protection of human rights…” Articles 21 to 59, inclusive,guarantee human rights including, the right to equality before the law, the right to life, the right to liberty, the right to a fair trial, the prohibition against torture, the right to legal representation, the right to freedom of expression, the right to association, the right to peaceful assembly, the right to freedom of movement, the right to education, the right to work, and the prohibition on forced labour.

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