Afghanistan: Rights Reforms Stall as Security Deteriorates - Human Rights Watch
(New York) – Afghanistan’s government made no measurable gains to improve human rights in 2016, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2017. Intensified fighting between Taliban and government forces killed or injured more than 8,000 civilians, most in deliberate attacks by insurgent forces, and increased indiscriminate attacks by Afghan government forces and pro-government militias. Government infighting among powerful political rivals and a lack of political will stalled progress on securing women’s rights, reining in abusive militias, and protecting schools and media freedom from attack.
In the 687-page World Report, its 27th edition, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in more than 90 countries. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth writes that a new generation of authoritarian populists seeks to overturn the concept of human rights protections, treating rights as an impediment to the majority will. For those who feel left behind by the global economy and increasingly fear violent crime, civil society groups, the media, and the public have key roles to play in reaffirming the values on which rights-respecting democracy has been built.
“As Afghanistan’s national unity government squabbles for power, vital human rights achievements of the past 15 years are at risk of vanishing,” said Patricia Gossman, senior Afghanistan researcher. “The government should urgently act to protect civilians and get reforms back on track.” - Read More