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Standing for human dignity; ‘Law approves to veto, criminalize all form of tortures’

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: The Cabinet Law Committee of the government has approved for the first time “Law for Prohibition of Torture” in which criminalizing all form of tortures in governmental institutes in general and to the judicial organizations in particular across the country.

There are several reports showing that the practice of tortures have been existing in different enforcement and judicial organizations. However, by approval of this law the evil practice that undermines human dignity, would be prohibited.

“The Cabinet Law Committee has nodded for the law in a bid to send-off any kind of tortures in all governmental organs, particular in enforcement and judicial agencies,” Mohammad Hedaiat, Spokesman for the Second Vice President, Sarwar Danish said.

He furthered, “any kind of tortures that leads toward physical, mental, and psychic damages have been prohibited in the law.”

According to him, all sorts of tortures have been criminalized in the perception of the law, and those who found guilty of its breaching would face legal action.

“The perpetrators along with other officials, including those who execute, commands or at somehow have links with torture practice, would be prosecuted under the new law,” he added. The law was approved on Monday by the Cabinet Law Committee.

“Commonly, the law should be sent to the parliament for approval, but as the approval is in urgency stage, possibly to be passed by a presidential decree.”

He furthered, “sending draft of the law to the parliament would take more times as the lawmakers are currently in their winter recess.

Afghanistan in 1987 has joined the international convention of prohibition of torture that includes banning of torture and other cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment and punishment practices.

“Till date Afghanistan had no any law on the prohibition of torture, thus sometimes we are receiving reports about practice of tortures in the judicial organs, particularly in prison and detention centers,” he elucidated.

“The violators of this law would be faced with short and long prison term, while taking the sensitivity of the tortures into account. But in case, if the victim dies as a result of torture, the culprit would be charged with murder crime,” he insisted. “Beside punishment, compensation also considered in the law.”

Meanwhile, Director for the Law Institute of Justice Ministry, Abdul Majid Ghanizada, said that the draft law was prepared in view of obligation of the International Convention of Prohibition of Torture.

“In order to give a positive response to the international convention, the government has drafted the National Prohibition of Torture Law and would practically put in practice after its approval,” he added.

He added, previously Afghanistan had no any law on prohibition of torture, where the concerned organs were acting at the glow of the Torture Prohibition Convention.

“Different types and form of tortures have been described and defined in this draft with predication of punishment to the violators,” he asserted.

“Torturing of a person in all suspicious situation like accused or convicted of a crime is prohibited and against this law,” he noted.

He added that the government would assign a committee to observe implementation of the law in all governmental organs, particularly in prisoners, reinforcement and judiciary agencies.

Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission Spokesman, Bilal Sediqi expressed pleasure over approval of this law and termed it as a positive step toward reduction of torture in Afghanistan.

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