Update: Taliban Defends Arrests of Humanitarian Workers
Ignoring international outcry, Taliban rulers defended the arrest of 24 Shelter Now International (SNI) humanitarian workers yesterday. While it has been committing massive human rights abuses against women, minorities, and the Afghan population at large since it came into power in 1996, the Taliban has recently put increasing pressure on international aid workers. The arrests follow the detention of some 56 children accused of involvement with SNI, the ouster of the United Nations Special Mission to Afghanistan from its Kabul offices in June, the imposition of Islamic law on non-Muslim foreigners, and a decree forbidding foreign women from driving cars in Afghanistan. The Afghanistan Support Group, the main organization that coordinates all of the Afghan aid, including aid distributed through U.N. channels, has warned that the Taliban is risking almost all of the aid to Afghanistan with its increasingly restrictive policies.
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .