GANHRI Geneva Representative interviewed by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung expresses concern over the safety of members and staff of the AIHRC

Katharina Rose, GANHRI Geneva Representative, has been interview by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung on the discussions taking place at the UN Human Rights Council Session in Geneva and in particular on the emergency Human Rights Council session on Afghanistan held on 24 August.

We remain extremely concerned about the safety of members and staff from the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) and reiterate our call for measures for protection for those members and staff which are still in-country. The AIHRC is a highly esteemed member of GANHRI and has been a critical voice defending human rights in Afghanistan’s volatile and highly complex and challenging environment.” said Ms Rose.

Ms Rose regrets that the HRC failed to be able to respond in any way commensurate to the situation given the numerous human rights violations reports that include those of the right to life, freedom of movement, assembly, freedom of speech and expression. There are also reports of arbitrary arrests, and killings. Of particular and grave concern is the situation of women and girls, of minorities, especially Hazaras, and that of internally displaced persons.

When asked about hopes for the outcomes of the 48th Council Session with regard to the human rights situation in Afghanistan, Ms Rose renewed the call from AIHRC and that of many others for the HRC at its current session to establish a fact-finding mission or other independent investigative mechanism, with a broad multi-year mandate to monitor, document and report on all human rights violations by all actors.

“The mechanism should be mandated to regularly report its findings to both the Human Rights and Security Council. It should include a gender focus and be adequately resourced. Such mechanism will help ensure that at this time of extreme crisis the United Nation and the broader international community are able to receive, and act upon, credible and reliable information about the human rights situation on the ground. Such mechanism will also be critical for ensuring accountability. “

The situation in Afghanistan must receive an urgent, united, and unequivocal response from the international community, to protect Afghan people’s lives and dignity.” concluded Ms Rose.