Human Rights during National Unity Government

Since the past few days, Ahmad Ishchi’s accusations against Dostum and a man forcefully marrying two sisters in Nangerhar were widely covered by the media.

Ahmad Ishchi, who was the former governor of Jawzjan province and the former deputy of the Junbish party as well as a former friend of General Dostum, has accused the Vice President for imprisoning him in his private prison for five days and has said that after beating and torturing him Dostum and his men have tried to rape him and have acted as raping him and have filmed it. [1]

These horrific incidents are only the recent two examples of human rights violation in the country. Human rights situation in regards to women, migrants, and law enforcement and reasons behind it are issues that are analyzed here.


The situation of Human Rights

Since the formation of the National Unity Government (NUG), the human rights situation is worsened, which you would read here in details:

 Violence against women:

During the first year of the NUG, violence against women increased by 5%, approximately 5132 incidents of violence had been documented. In this year, Farkhunda’s incident occurred, where a young woman was beaten for the alleged disrespect to the Holy Quran and then was crushed by car and burned by hundreds of angry people in the nearby of the Presidential Palace. In addition, a man cut off his wife’s nose in Faryab province and other similar incidents occurred in all over the country. Although, complete statistics of violence against women in 1395 (2016-2017) is not released, but according to the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), during the first four months of this year, 1218 incidents of violence are recorded, most of which (371 incidents) are physical violence[2].


Ahmad Ishchi’s accusations against General Dostum:

In recent years but also during Hamid Karzai’s presidency, governmental officials have taken advantages of their positions and hence violated human rights. A few days ago, Ahmad Ishchi accused the Afghan Vice President of imprisoning him in his private prison, rape him personally and then ordered his guards to do the same.

Ahmad Ishchi’s widely reflected remarks defamed the country and also sparked international community’s reaction. Releasing a statement, the Afghan Presidential Palace promised that it would seriously pursue the issue through legal institutions. Moreover, in regards to Ishchi’s case, members of Junbish (Dostum’s party), supporters of Ahmad Ishchi and Ambassadors of twelve western countries met President Ashraf Ghani. In the meanwhile, in order to discuss Ishchi’s case, the Afghan President also convened consulting meetings with Jihadi leaders and religious scholars.

Although, the Afghan Attorney General had summoned General Dostum, but Dostum’s office termed it illegal and rejected it. Besides that, there are rumors that this issue would be resolved through Jirga (traditional gathering of elders in order to resolve an issue). The same might happen with the man in Nangarhar who married the two sisters. Given the current situation, influencing the Jirga or corruption in judicial organs, is greatly possible and these these two accused people might save themselves. Committing such heinous crimes at such a high levels is not only disgrace to the country but it is not suitable for the accused to occupy such a high rank in the government.

Refugees’ situation:

Currently there are a great number of Afghan refugees in neighboring and European countries and a huge numbers of internally displaced people within the country. During the NUG’s rule, their fundamental rights were also vastly trampled. In December 2014, a group of insurgents attacked on a military school in Pakistan and in the aftermath of this incident, Afghan refugees’ situation worsened in Pakistan. Many Afghan refugees were arrested and were forcefully deported to Afghanistan. Due to this situation and after the Turkham incident, repatriation of Afghan refugees hastened. However, now, cold winter and halting $400 of aid to each refugee by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have affected this process.

In the meanwhile, the Afghan refugees in Iran also faced the same problems, but it also violated human rights by influencing afghan refugees to fight in Syria.

On the other hand, the Afghan refugees also faced discriminatory approach) in Europe and they were returned to their own country against their wills.

There are 1.2 million internally displace people in the country as well, most of whom are displaced due to recent insecurities and are living in worst conditions while the winter has just begun it needs more assistance.

Civilian casualties:

From 2007 to 2015, civilian casualties in Afghanistan were rising annually. Between 2007 and 2015, a total number of 58736 civilians were killed and injured. According to UNAMA’s report, in the first nine months of 2016, 2560 civilians are killed and more than 5830 other are wounded and an overall 8390 civilian casualties is recorded which marks 1% increase compared to 2015[3].

The main reasons behind the rise in civilian casualties in this year were war, explosions, ISIL’s activities, military operations of the government and collapse of the districts.

Foreigners’ role:

Foreign troops are also seriously involved in violating human rights. For instance, during the first and second collapse of Kunduz city, many civilians were killed in US airstrikes. In October 2015, American military aircrafts repeatedly bombarded MSF’s hospital in Kunduz killing dozens of innocent people. The incident took place at a time that this hospital had already informed the Afghan government and foreigners about the coordinate of this hospital. During the second collapse of Kunduz, Americans carried out a similar operation, which killed a number of innocent children.

This is not the sole incident, but the US forces have been engaged in numerous such incidents during the past one and half decades. In this regard, courts have also been convened, but the culprits were not punished.


Reasons behind human rights violations

The main reasons behind human rights violation during the NUG’s rule are as follows:

  • Insecurity and war: Generally, many human rights are trampled during war and insecurity situations. Compared to the past years, in recent several years, general situation of security in the country is worsened. According to the statistics of the United Nations, 22634 security incidents have occurred in Afghanistan in 2015, which was the highest number of security incidents since 2001 (except for 2011). 49% of these incidents had occurred in Helmand, Kandahar, Ghazni, Kunar, and Nangarhar[4]. In addition, from January to 15 August 2016, 16132 security incidents have occurred in Afghanistan. Armed clashes accounted for 61.3% of these incidents followed by explosions at 17.96%[5].
  • Weak government rule: Due to the ongoing war, the government controlled areas decreased and the government has failed to expand its sovereignty in all over the country. The more government loses control over its territories, the more the chances increase for human rights violations. According to Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), until June 2016, 65.6% of the regions in the country were under government control, which showed a 5% decrease compared to the beginning of the year[6].
  • Lack of law enforcement: due to existence of powerful people in the government, the government fails to fight against crimes and because of these powerful people, criminals are either not arrested or in case of being arrested are released very soon.
  • Corruption; corruption in the government in general and in judicial organs in particular have further facilitated violation of human rights; because, from the time the criminal is arrested till the end of their prosecution, all the process can be influenced by corruption, that is why serious steps against criminals are not held and this urges others to commit crimes with lesser reluctance.


The end

[1]  For further information read BBC’s report here:

[2] See online:

[3] in this regard, read tolonews’ report here:

[4] United Nations, General Assembly, The situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security, A/70.775-S/2016/218 (7 March 2016), p: 4

[5] United Nations, General Assembly, The situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security, A/70/1033/-S/2016/768 (7 Sep 2016), p: 4-7

[6] Shereena Qazi and Yarno Ritzen, Afghanistan: Who controls what, Aljazeera English, 15 Sep 2016, see it online:<>

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