Transitional Justice Co-ordination Group Statement on the Upcoming Kabul Conference

Press release
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Transitional Justice Co-ordination Group
Statement on the Upcoming Kabul Conference

28 June 2010

The Transitional Justice Co-ordination Group, comprising 25 national and international organisations, calls on representatives at the upcoming Kabul Conference to commit to ensuring that justice forms the cornerstone of any moves towards peace in Afghanistan.

A durable peace cannot be achieved in our country without a thorough investigation of the painful and violent past, and without seeking justice and ending the culture of impunity. We therefore call on the international community and the Government of Afghanistan to adhere to the following:

1. We call on the United Nations Security Council to oversee the investigation and review of individuals currently on the UN blacklist. Removing individuals from the blacklist without a transparent review process would be rewarding those implicated for their alleged crimes and undermines the rule of law in Afghanistan.
2. Detainees held without charge must be given a fair and transparent review process. The rights of detainees to due legal process must be respected. The current refusal to extend habeas corpus to these prisoners is not only against the laws of this country but also strengthens the culture of impunity and undermines the independence of judiciary.
3. The Constitution is the highest legal authority in the country. Therefore, mechanisms to achieve peace recommended by the Peace Jirga should be consistent with the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
4. Recommendations of the Peace Jirga should be put to a referendum before being implemented.
5. Individuals suspected or accused of war crimes and human rights violations should be investigated and prosecuted when there is credible evidence.
6. We call on international governments to support calls to amend or repeal the Amnesty Law. The commitment of the international community to upholding human rights in Afghanistan should be clear and consistent. The Government of Afghanistan has an obligation to honour its constitutional commitments as well as honour its international obligations.

The Transitional Justice Co-ordination Group convened the Victims Jirga for Justice on 09 May 2010 in order to raise the demands of war victims and to ensure their voices are heard in any proposed peace process. The event brought together more than a hundred representatives of victims groups across Afghanistan, representing war-affected individuals from every phase of conflict during the past three decades.

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