You may have heard about a very disturbing development in Afghanistan, one which will be devastating for our clients and indeed every Afghan citizen: President Karzai may sign a new law, already passed by the Afghan parliament, that forbids relatives from testifying against any accused person.
In other words, a person who has suffered abuse at the hand of a relative, or a person who has witnessed a relative commit a crime, cannot testify against that relative. Male and female assailants will be able to commit crimes against relatives with total impunity, and what’s more, even physicians who have examined the victims of crimes are forbidden to testify.
This means that most of our clients, women and girls who have suffered brutality at the hands of their family members, will have no legal recourse.
We cannot allow this law to pass, and we need you, our supporters, to do your part:
- First and foremost, please sign and share these two petitions, one to President Karzai, and one to President Obama and Secretary Kerry.
- Here is an article in the Guardian that quotes me. Please share it widely.
- Here is the press release we just issued. Please forward it to any journalists, blogs or list serves you know.
I will keep you informed about developments. WAW is organizing along with women’s organizations in Afghanistan and international human rights organizations.
Determined to defeat this assault on women’s human rights,
and counting on all of you to add your powerful voice to our protest,
Executive Director, WAW
February 5, 2014