UN Urges for Probe Into Sexual Abuse Allegations at ARG

UNAMA’s Chief of Human Rights Office, Richard Bennet called for an investigation into the allegations of sexual abuse of women at the Presidential Palace, or ARG.

“We understand that this issue is a great concern to Afghan women and it should be of concern also to all men. If harassment in the workplace is not addressed appropriately, it makes the workplace unsafe. It affects the professional reputation of the institution and staff productivity and negatively affects the workplace overall. A safe workplace is everyone’s right including female staffs and colleagues,” the UNAMA’s Chief of Human Rights Office, Richard Bennett, said at a press conference in Kabul.

“I encourage all of Afghanistan’s government institutions to develop a comprehensive zero-tolerance policy regarding the harassment of women,” he added.

Talking to a ceremony in Kabul, the Second Vice President Sarwar Danish labeled the allegations as an attempt for “election campaign” and “political rivalries” by some individuals.

He stressed that such claims should be referred to judicial institutions.

“Women still lack the required access to justice… The culture of impunity is still there,” Danish said.

Addressing the same event, the Attorney General Farid Hamidi called on victims of sexual abuse to consult the judicial institutions so that justice can be served for them.

“For the sake of the trust of the people of Afghanistan, we fully and resolutely authorize these cases to be investigated neutrally and away from politics,” said Hamidi.

In June, General Habibullah Ahmadzai, the former security adviser to President Ghani, claimed that some members of President Ghani’s administration were trading government positions for sexual favors.

The allegations received wide social media attention, and Ahmadzai, who resigned from his post to contest in parliamentary elections, claimed that some officials “were working systematically to promote adultery in the palace”.

Last month, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah called for an impartial and transparent investigation into the case.

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