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Contact: Amanda Simon, asimon@aiusa.org

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Amnesty International today urged President Obama to raise human rights issues in Afghanistan during meetings this week with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani. It is reported that the two leaders will discuss U.S. troop levels, and engagement with the Taliban and ISIS. Unfortunately, it appears the issue of human rights is missing from the agenda.

Amnesty International calls on President Obama to directly raise key human rights concerns during the meeting and during the joint press conference. Failure to do so could have serious impact on the human rights of Afghan civilians and send the message to people of Afghanistan that their rights and welfare are not a priority for the Obama administration.

Specifically, Amnesty International calls on President Obama to press President Ghani to:
 

  • Nominate and appoint, based on merit, women to positions at all levels of the executive, legislative and judiciary branches and to ensure that women’s and girls’ rights remain a priority in any possible future peace talks with the Taliban;
     
  • Take steps to minimize to the greatest extent possible any civilian casualties caused by pro-government forces, including international military forces, private security contractors and pro-government militias, including by fully observing all relevant provisions of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in operations against the Taliban and other armed groups;
     
  • Ensure that all allegations of serious human rights violations by ANSF military operations are fully investigated and, if there is sufficient admissible evidence, prosecute persons suspected of crimes before ordinary civilian courts in fair trials without recourse to death penalty;
     
  • Fully and effectively implement the Nation al Internally Displaced People Policy, launched by the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation on 11 February 2014. The Policy provides a legal definition for displaced people and establishes the government’s primary responsibilities in providing emergency assistance, long-term support and protection. Particular attention must be paid to the specific needs of displaced women and girls.

 

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Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning global movement of more than 7 million people in over 190 countries who campaign for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.