Afghan New Commission A Major Step Toward Protection of Human Rights Defenders: AI

The creation of a new government body tasked with protecting human rights defenders is a major victory for human rights in Afghanistan, said Amnesty International, following a decree by President Ghani establishing the Joint Commission for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders.

The Commission, which has been established ‘for the purpose of strengthening human rights advocacy and addressing the national and international concerns of human rights related issues in Afghanistan’, will initially determine its priorities and develop a joint plan with NGOs for the protection of human rights defenders.

“To ensure that this isn’t just an empty promise, the Commission must be provided with full backing by the government and deliver on its objectives, including a mechanism that provides effective protection to those at risk,” Samira Hamidi, Amnesty International’s Afghanistan Campaigner said.

Amnesty International called for the prompt establishment of the mechanism to ensure that it thoroughly, impartially and transparently investigates threats and attacks against human rights defenders, and, where necessary, provides adequate protection measures that should include relocation, relief and psychosocial support.

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