Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has announced that during the first nine months of the current solar year, a total of 27,872 criminal cases have been registered, investigated and addressed in 34 provinces of the country.
Jamshid Rasouli, the spokesman of Attorney General’s Office, said in a press conference on Monday that the cases included crimes “against the national security”, including kidnapping.
Rasouli said that these cases have been registered throughout the country, but the highest number of crimes took place in Kabul, Nangarhar and Kandahar.
During the last nine months, 5,464 criminal cases have been registered in Kabul, 2,456 in Nangarhar and 1,819 in Kandahar.
Rasouli noted that 27, 872 cases include murder, kidnapping, moral crimes, human trafficking, beatings, injuries, drug trafficking, corruption, violence against women, children, extortion and other cases that are included in the criminal code.
He cited that out of the total number of registered cases, 150 were murders, 336 were kidnappings, 4,305 were drug trafficking cases, 3,087 were robberies, 2,088 were violence against women, and 1,366 were injuries, 1,165 cases of beatings, 337 cases of moral crimes and 6,957 cases were miscellaneous cases.
According to Rasouli, out of the total number of criminal cases, 1,740 are military crimes, in which security and intelligence officials were involved, and these cases have been handled by the military prosecutor’s office.
The spokesman of Kandahar governor said at least 33 people including 15 members of a family were wounded in a car bomb explosion near a Police HQ in the province on Monday morning.
According to the governor’s spokesman, the incident happened in Daman district and 9 Police forces, two National Directorate of Security forces and seven civilian employees are among the wounded.
In the meantime, Kandahar Police also confirmed another car bomb explosion in Zherai district of the province in the afternoon.
Polo confirmed the death of one army soldier so far.
Afghan women and girls are being failed by the country’s justice system with their access to justice for crimes of violence remaining tenuous, finds a new report released today by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the UN Human Rights Office.
The report, titled, “In Search of Justice for Crimes of Violence Against Women and Girls,” examines the response of the justice system and the redress provided to survivors in reported cases of violence against women and girls in the period between September 2018 and February 2020.
UNAMA found that only half of reported crimes reached a primary court, with perpetrators convicted in around 40 per cent of all documented cases.
“The stark reality is that too many women and girls still fail to see justice for the violence they experience, and impunity remains far too common,” said Deborah Lyons, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan.
The report raises multiple concerns about the justice system’s treatment of women and girls, such as low rates of conviction for so-called “honour killings” – just 23 per cent as compared to a conviction rate of 51 per cent for murders unrelated to “honour”. Other issues raised in the report include the problematic handling of rape cases and the ongoing detention of women for “running away”.
“Far too many times, the justice system re-victimizes survivors instead of working on their behalf. This trend must stop. Serious efforts must continue to enable women and girls to access justice and to ensure that they are treated with dignity by the justice system,” said Fiona Frazer, UNAMA’s Human Rights Chief and Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Afghanistan.
UNAMA called for the Elimination of Violence Against Women Law (EVAW Law) to be amended to expand authorities’ powers to investigate and prosecute all crimes in the Law and for strengthened institutional responses to crimes of violence against women and girls.
At least 11 personnel of provincial police in Kandahar province were wounded in a car bomb explosion on Monday morning, the Ministry of Interior confirmed.
According to MoI, the blast took place at around 10:25 Am after a vehicle loaded with explosives detonated Near Daman Police HQ.
Local officials also said that Abdul Wadoud, provincial district Police commander, is also among the wounded policemen.
The District Police Command Building is destroyed due to the blast.
No group has claimed the responsibility for the attack.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Monday reported 232 new positive cases of coronavirus out of 1350 samples tested in the last 24 hours.
The ministry also reported 27 deaths and 297 recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
The cumulative number of total cases is now 48,133 the number of total reported deaths is 1,902 and the total number of recoveries is 37,982.
The new cases were reported in Kabul, Herat, Kandahar, Kunduz, Zabul, Kapisa, Balkh, Takhar, and Paktia Provinces.
The protection and maintenance department of Salang Pass said on Monday that the strategic Salang highway has been closed to Cargo Trucks following the heavy storms and bad weather.
According to the department, the snowfall in the south of Salang and snowfall with wind in the north started at around 00:00am today and the current situation is expected to continue for more than two days and nights.
Snow thickness on the north is reported to be 16cm in dept and at the southern part is about 15cm.
Meanwhile, the department reported, that the Salang Highway is open to passenger vehicles, but must use Tire chains for better grip and safety.
The department has asked drivers to consider the speed, weight and height allowed when crossing the route.
Simultaneously with the outbreak of the second wave of the Coronavirus, President Ghani says his findings show that despite all efforts, there are serious challenges in the health sector that need to be addressed.
The Presidential Palace said in a statement that President Ghani made the remarks via video conference on Sunday evening with a number of Afghan health professionals living in the United States and Europe.
“One of our top priorities is to build our health sector and consolidate our efforts in light of the urgency of fighting the second wave of the coronavirus,” Ghani said.
He noted that in the past week he had held seven videoconferences with officials of the Ministry of Public Health, 19 hospitals and heads of public health departments of all provinces, representatives of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, the World Health Organization and UNICEF.
“My findings in these meetings indicate that, unfortunately, despite all the efforts, there are serious challenges in our health sector that need to be addressed,” he said.
Ghani cited that the management of programs and the provision of health services are challenged by the lack of oxygen, the low capacity of the Corona testing, which were scheduled for tens of thousands of tests per day and the lack of infrastructure to maintain the Corona vaccine.
President’s remarks come as the Afghan Ministry of Public Health has recently confirmed that the outbreak of the coronavirus in Afghanistan has entered its second wave.
A car bomb explosion occurred near the police HQ in Daman district of Kandahar province on Monday, said Jamal Barakzai, a spokesman for the provincial police chief.
There is still no information about the number of casualties, he said.
No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the incident.
Details to follow.
The fifth culprit and one of the main prepatrators behind the two bloody explosions in Bamiyan province has been arrested, the provincial governor’s office said in a statement on Monday.
According to the statement, the detainee has admitted to his crime for the blasts in the primary investigations.
This comes as at least 18 people were killed and more than 60 were wounded in two IED explosions in a market in Bamiyan during the last month.
Previously, four suspects have been arrested in connection with the incidents.
Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) has reported that pine nuts production in north-eastern Kapisa province increased.
According to the officials, about two thousands hectares of land in Kapisa province are covered by pine nut forests. Most of these forests are situated in Tagaba, Najrab and Alhosai districts of the province.
Head of agriculture department in Kapisa, Humayun Habib, said pine nuts are an important export item of the province , and every year a majority of the province’s pine nut production is exported to inside and outside of Afghanistan.
Pine nut trees are mostly found in Afghanistan’s eastern provinces of Nangarhar, Laghman, Nuristan, Kunar, Paktia, Khost and Paktika provinces.
The department of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock in Kandahar has reported that work on the establishment of 25 commercial date gardens has kicked off.
“This 2 million AFN project and will be established in 3 districts of the province,” said head of the department Hafizullah Sayedi.
Work on the gardens in Damaan district bas officially begun, added Sayedi.
According to statement from the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, this is the first time that commercial date gardens are being established in Kandahar province. The purpose of this project is to promote date cultivation and production in the province.
Iranian Managing Director of Railways said contemporaneous with inauguration of Khaf-Herat railways, 46 personnel of Afghanistan railway will be trained in Iran.
Mohammad Rasouli said exploitation of Khaf-Herat railway will start immediately after inauguration.
Iran Railways had earlier had cooperation with Afghanistan and had held training courses for them, he added.
Rasouli noted that Afghan personnel will be trained in two phases for this giant project.
The 220-km Khaf-Herat railroad project includes four phases that are under construction.
About 77 km of the project, which includes two phases, is in Iran’s soil and the rest in Afghanistan.
One of the phases that is in Afghanistan is to be inaugurated in next few days.
The railroad project ensures Afghanistan’s access to free waters and European markets.