Afghanistan's parliament rejected with a vote of 117 to 77 President Hamid Karzai's reappointment of an extreme conservative for chief justice of the Supreme Court. Fazel Hagi Shinwari had held the post of chief justice since shortly after the Taliban fell.
Shinwari was known for ruling against free speech, women’s rights, and human rights. “Shinwari has established a record of ignoring human rights standards on the Supreme Court,” said Sam Zia-Zarifi, head of Human Rights Watch’s Asia Division, according to the Associated Press. Under Shinwari, the Supreme Court issued a fatwa against the editor of a women’s rights magazine, tried to declare the candidacy of a woman for president of Afghanistan un-Islamic and illegal, and protested the television broadcast of a woman singing.
Shinwari also demanded that a male candidate for president be expelled from the election in 2004 for speaking out on women’s rights in marriage and divorce.
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. . . .