Title Afghanistan: The human rights crisis and the refugees
Publisher Amnesty International
Publication Date 1 February 1995
Country Afghanistan | Canada | Germany | Denmark | Islamic Republic of Iran | Pakistan | Russian Federation
Topics Arbitrary arrest and detention | Deportation / Forcible return | Disappeared persons | Extrajudicial executions | Freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment | Human rights and fundamental freedoms | IDP camps | Internally displaced persons (IDPs) | Military courts | Political situation | Protection of camps | Refugee camps | Refugee identity documents | Rejected asylum-seekers
Citation / Document Symbol ASA 11/002/1995
Cite as Amnesty International, Afghanistan: The human rights crisis and the refugees, 1 February 1995, ASA 11/002/1995, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6a9a613.html [accessed 20 December 2014]
Comments Hundreds of Afghans in Western Europe and a number of other countries whose claims to asylum have been rejected continue to live in fear of being deported to Afghanistan. Their status is unclear and subject to change. One group of Afghans were deported against their will from Russia to Afghanistan in 1994. Amnesty International has documented serious human rights violations and abuses in Afghanistan; it is urging all governments to ensure that no Afghan asylum-seeker is compelled to leave a country of asylum as long as the current political crisis obtains in Afghanistan. Grave human rights violations are reported from all parts of the country and are reportedly perpetrated by virtually all the armed Mujahideen groups. Some political or ethnic groups may be temporarily safe but the changing political alliances and the frequent changes in the control of territory can create an unexpected political atmosphere conducive to human rights violations. Afghans most at risk of human rights violations in Afghanistan include members of specific ethnic, religious or political groups in areas controlled by warlords hostile to them, educated Afghan women, secular-minded individuals, Afghan academics and other professionals, officials of the former government and journalists covering the political crisis. The renewed flight of refugees from Afghanistan has arisen as a direct consequence of serious and widespread human rights violations in the country, many of which are committed in the context of the ongoing civil war. Only if the grave levels of human rights violations in Afghanistan are brought to an end, will the mass exodus of Afghans stop and a safe return of Afghan refugees become possible. No effective central authority has yet been established in Afghanistan, and the UN efforts to promote a broad-based government acceptable to the various factions have so far been unsuccessful. All warring factions reportedly carry out deliberate artillery attacks on residential areas. An estimated 25,000 people, the majority of whom are believed to have been civilians, have been killed since April 1992 when the Mujahideen forces took power. A human rights catastrophe continues to be unfolding in Afghanistan as deliberate and arbitrary killings, arbitrary detention and torture including widespread rape of women and children, are reportedly carried out by virtually all armed political groups who act with total impunity. Unarmed civilians belonging to, or suspected to belong to, rival political or ethnic groups reportedly continue to be subjected to torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in private jails of the Mujahideen groups. Former detainees have said they had been beaten with rifle butts, tied to dead bodies for several days and forced to eat what they were told was human flesh. Some detainees have reportedly received electric shocks, have been subjected to near-death suffocation, or have had their testicles crushed by pliers. Scores of detainees have reportedly died under torture. Prisoners who cannot pay enough money for their release are most at risk of further torture or of being deliberately and arbitrarily killed. Rape, a form of torture, have reportedly been inflicted on male and female detainees, including children and juveniles. It is extremely difficult to identify any permanently safe area where the right to life and the security of the person are ensured. Tribal social structures have been destroyed in years of civil war, depriving individuals of much needed support structures. Even camps for displaced persons, such as the ones near Jalalabad, are not safe for certain categories of Afghans.
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