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On eve of election, war crimes investigation begins in Afghanistan

"to secure the credibility of Afghanistan’s future governance, by ensuring that those who bear the greatest responsibility for past crimes are not part of it”.
Editorial Staff
Monday 10 August 2009

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No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) is undertaking a mission to Kabul, Afghanistan, from 9 to 14 August 2009 to work with the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) in the completion of its conflict mapping program, which is designed to build a comprehensive picture of violations committed from 1978 to 2001 and identify those who may bear the greatest responsibility for those crimes.

NPWJ has worked with the AIHRC since 2005 on the design and implementation of its Conflict Mapping Program, undertaken in the context of the Afghan Plan of Action for Peace, Justice and Reconciliation, which was adopted by the Afghan Government on Monday, 12 December 2005. This plan calls for the gathering and analysis of information related to the conflicts in Afghanistan from 1978 to 2001, in order to ascertain the role of those who bear the greatest responsibility for human rights violations and violations of the laws of war committed during that time and, eventually, inform the work of any accountability mechanisms that may be set up for Afghanistan. The conflict mapping program of the AIHRC is also designed to assist with the identification of persons who should not hold public office by putting on record who is responsible for which crimes.

Statement by Sergio Stanzani and Niccoló Figa-Talamanca, President and Secretary General of No Peace Without Justice:

“On the eve of the presidential and provincial elections to be held on 20 August 2009, there is an increasingly insecure and volatile security situation, which is one result of the impunity that has existed for three decades for crimes under international law committed in Afghanistan.

“No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) urge Afghanistan and her international partners to commit to ending that impunity and to provide the country with a path that strengthens the rule of law, promotes accountability and increases the legitimacy of Afghanistan’s elected and public officials, both in the eyes of the Afghan people and internationally.

“The necessary reconciliation plan to identify those parts of the Taliban who are ready to end violence and encourage their movement into the political arena needs to ensure that those who bear the greatest responsibility for the most egregious war crimes and crimes against humanity are not rewarded or legitimised as counterparts in the political process. Promoting impunity promotes violence and deals a savage blow to the hopes of the people of Afghanistan in a brighter future, who already see the internationally-backed state officials are the very same people who inflicted, and in some cases continue to inflict, grave violations against the people of Afghanistan.

“NPWJ and NRPTT call on the international community, and in particular the States that are actively engaged in Afghanistan such as EU member States, to support the work being done by the AIHRC as the best means by which to secure the credibility of Afghanistan’s future governance, by ensuring that those who bear the greatest responsibility for past crimes are not part of it”.

http://www.npwj.org/

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