Afghan Immunity Law Stirs Up Anger
Posted on Feb 12, 2010
Eliciting a cry from international and domestic human rights organizations, the Afghanistan government has passed a controversial law giving immunity from prosecution to Taliban fighters—no matter their deeds—who lay down their weapons.
The move, which some see as reconciliation, is being called by others a sign of disrespect to the victims and families of victims of Taliban violence, a bid for a quick peace deal with insurgents that violates the rights of injured parties. —JCL
Taliban fighters who have maimed and murdered but who lay down their weapons will be given immunity from prosecution according to a law that came into force without announcement in the weeks running up to last month’s London conference on Afghanistan.
The sudden implementation of the controversial law, which had been shelved for almost two years since it was passed by a slim parliamentary majority in 2007, has raised fears that the Afghan government is ignoring the rights of Taliban victims for the sake of President Hamid Karzai’s push for a quick peace deal with insurgents.
The reconciliation and general amnesty law also gives immunity from prosecution to all of the country’s warlords, the former factional leaders, many of whom are hated for the atrocities they committed during Afghanistan’s civil war in the 1990s.
AP / Ahmad Masood, pool
President Hamid Karzai, shown here in 2009, is pushing for a peace deal between Taliban insurgents and the Afghan government.