Afghanistan: Security and Rule of Law Failing Due to Lack of Funds

Amnesty International issued a report last week on the failure of donor countries in supporting efforts to reestablish the rule of law in Afghanistan. According to the report, “as the international community focuses its attention on post-conflict reconstruction in Iraq, it is crucial that it does not rescind promises made to the Afghan people.”

The report goes on to state that “the high level of discrimination against women in Afghanistan is reflected in the criminal justice system. Women victims and defendants are being denied access to justice and are discriminated against by both the formal and informal justice systems.” The report details how women and girls who are victims of rape, domestic violence, and forced underage marriage are not being protected under the current system. Women and girls are sometimes even prosecuted and forced to undergo virginity tests for engaging in sexual activity.

This report comes at a time when the security situation in Afghanistan is swiftly deteriorating. Human Rights Watch recently issued a report warning that warlords are threatening the success of the 2004 elections by their use of violence and intimidation, the United Nations withdrew its aid workers from the south due to violence in the area, and over 90 people were killed throughout the country in a week as a result of Taliban attacks and factional fighting.

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Amnesty International report 8/14/03; OneWorld 8/15/03; Associated Press 8/14/03

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