Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Afghanistan to reject parliament’s move to grant amnesty

Reuters reported today that Afghanistan has promised to reject a parliament vote from three weeks ago, which stipulated that amnesty would be granted to all Afghans, including war criminals who have committed serious atrocities. Today’s pronouncement comes as a result of the uproar and condemnation the parliamentary vote sparked within the country and amongst the international human rights community, whose members generally maintain that punishing those guilty of war crimes is essential to bringing peace and stability to any society.

“We have our international responsibilities,” Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta told Reuters in an interview. “Under international law ... crimes against humanity, systematic violence against human rights is not a matter for amnesty.”

Afghanistan is again facing deteriorating circumstances five years after U.S. led forces toppled the Taliban’s strict Islamist government. The Taliban continues its propaganda war, boosted by the slow pace of reconstruction, and it is thus even more important for the government to stay on a democratic course. More than 4,000 people died in fighting in Afghanistan in 2006, and both the Taliban and NATO commanders are warning of a bloody 2007 spring offensive.

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