Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, February 26, 2007

Karzai under pressure to make a decision on contentious amnesty bill

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is under pressure from many sides to make a decision on a controversial amnesty bill, which was recently approved by both houses of Afghanistan’s parliament, IRIN reported today. The 12-point bill, if signed by the president and made law, will effectively shield those accused of committing serious human rights violations during the past 25 years. The bill itself has attracted international attention largely because it has been portrayed as a self-serving political scheme, with many of today’s political leaders being former Mujahideen.

More than 25,000 Afghans rallied in Kabul Friday, calling on Karzai to approve the bill. Supporters of the bill believe it will work as a trust-building mechanism that would encourage unity, and therefore work to build peace and stability for the country.

Still Ahmad Nadir Nadiri, spokesman for Afghanistan’s Human Rights Commission, believes that signing the bill will help to call attention to the plight of the millions of Afghan citizens adversely affected by years of conflict. “It is upon the government of Afghanistan to ensure both security and implement justice,” he said.

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