UN and Afghanistan rights commission to hold dialogues on basic freedoms

Under the UN-brokered Bonn Agreement on Afghanistan’s political transition, the parties committed to protect human rights, including freedoms of the press, movement, assembly and opinion.”The verification exercise that the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and UNAMA is starting today means to ensure that these commitments are in fact implemented,” Jean Arnault, chief of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, told the press in Kabul.The exercise is being carried out as the country heads towards elections planned for later this year. Mr. Arnault emphasized that principles must “translate effectively at the level of the voters and the candidates into actual freedom of movement, freedom of organization, freedom of opinion [and freedom of assembly].”The envoy voiced hope that the dialogues would spur “all independent candidates to step up and go out to campaign with the knowledge that there is an impartial body that is watching over the process.”

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