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TJCG calls for repeal of amnesty law

TJCG calls for repeal of amnesty law

Apr 29, 2015 - 19:00

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Transitional Justice Coordination Group (TJCG) on Wednesday called April 27 and 28 as “dark days in Afghanistan’s recent history,” calling for prosecution of those involved in war crimes.

Back in 1978, the former Soviet Union-backed People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA), which had sympathisers in the then Afghan military, dethroned President Daud Khan in a bloody coup.

Daud, who took over from King Zahir Shah and ended monarchy in 1973, declared himself as the first president of Afghanistan. He was killed in the PDPA-led coup along with his family members.  But a majority of Afghans did not accept the PDPA’s rule and soon uprisings began against the communist party.

Apart from heavy financial losses to the country, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan also claimed the lives of more than two million people and forced millions others to flee homes and migrate to foreign countries.

On 28 April, 1992, Mujahideen entered Kabul and toppled Dr. Nabjib’s government. But Mujahideen groups later entered a power struggle and killed more than 60,000 people in Kabul alone during infightings.

Abdul Basir Faizi, TJCG member, told journalists in Kabul that both the days brought nothing, but destruction and loss of innocent lives.

“The Mujahideen government was followed by infighting for power. This resulted in bloodshed and the rise of Pakistan-backed Taliban group,” he said, adding the impunity of those involved in war crimes continued to take a toll on ordinary people.

Abdullah Ahmadi, TJCG founder, said people wanted human right violators to be prosecuted, but instead they enjoyed top government positions.

He expressed concerns that releasing Taliban prisoners added fuel to the ongoing insecurity in the country.

Ahmadi regretted the National Stability and Reconciliation Law’s enactment gave war criminals a safe passage to escape prosecution.

In a statement, TJCG called for the law to be repealed and those involved in major crimes removed from government posts.

The National Stability and Reconciliation Law that grants a blanket pardon for perpetrators of war crimes and rights abuses before the ouster of Taliban regime was passed by parliament in 2007.

The amnesty law states that all those who had been engaged in armed conflict before the formation of the Interim Administration in Afghanistan in 2001 shall "enjoy all their legal rights and shall not be prosecuted."

Rights groups say some confusion over when the bill became law still persists because former president Hamid Karzai had promised not to sign it.