Taliban violence threatens Afghan elections: HRW
Date : Sunday 16 March 2014 19:41
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Saturday that the Taliban threats and violence against the campaign workers and election officials risk undermining the upcoming presidential election which is due to be organized earlier next month.
The remarks by Human Rights Watch (HRW) are followed by Taliban group’s statement issued on March 11 where the Taliban group vowed to use all force to disrupt the elections.
Taliban also warned to target all election workers, activists, callers, security apparatus and offices across the country.
Taliban in its statement also urged the government of Afghanistan not to public buildings such as mosques and schools for the polls, suggesting these locations could be targets of attack.
In the meantime, Human Rights Watch (HRW) Asia Director, Brad Adams said, “The Taliban’s threat to use violence to prevent the Afghan people from choosing a new president is as despicable as it is unlawful.”
Adams further added, “That threat highlights the responsibility of the Afghan government and its security forces to take all necessary measures to protect campaign activities and voters.”
HRW also accused Taliban for most serious incidents of violence and intimidation prior to and during the presidential election of 2009 and the parliamentary election in 2010.
At least even murders, one assassination attempt, and six threats of violence or use of force have been reported since the beginning of election campaign in February 2, according to Afghan nongovernmental election monitoring organization, the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan.
“The Taliban threats to use violence to derail the election process should not succeed,” Adams said. “Taliban tactics of terror and intimidation only expose their fear of the ballot box and the Afghan people’s right to choose their next government.”
Story Code: 87909
Source : Afghan Voice Agency (AVA), Kabul