1995/74. Situation of human rights in Afghanistan

The Commission on Human Rights,

Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and accepted international humanitarian law,

Aware of its responsibility to promote and encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, and resolved to remain vigilant with regard to violations of human rights wherever they occur,

Reaffirming that all Member States have an obligation to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms and to fulfil the obligations they have freely undertaken under the various international instruments,

Recalling Economic and Social Council resolution 1984/37 of 24 May 1984, in which the Council requested the Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights to appoint a special rapporteur to examine the situation of human rights in Afghanistan,

Recalling also all its relevant resolutions, as well as the resolutions of the General Assembly and the decisions of the Economic and Social Council,

Recalling in particular its resolution 1994/84 of 9 March 1994, in which it decided to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan for one year and to request him to report to the General Assembly at its forty-ninth session, and Economic and Social Council decision 1994/268 of 25 July 1994, in which the Council approved the Commission's decision,

Concerned that armed confrontation in certain parts of the territory of Afghanistan, and in particular in Kabul, has intensified in 1994, thus causing a decrease in the repatriation of refugees and a rise in the number of internally displaced persons, with a further deterioration in the situation of human rights in parts of the country,

Concerned in particular that a unified judicial system cannot be established throughout the country under the prevailing circumstances,

Acknowledging the presence of more than 2 million refugees in neighbouring countries, and recognizing the urgent need to sustain the financial efforts for their assistance, pending their voluntary repatriation,

Noting with concern reports of violations of rights enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, such as the rights to life, to liberty and security of person and to freedom of opinion, expression and association, and of violations of human rights specific to or primarily directed against women by warring factions in Afghanistan,

Noting with deep concern that the civilian population is still the target of indiscriminate military attacks, food blockades and acts of reprisal and violence,

Noting that much remains to be done for the treatment of prisoners to be in conformity with the provisions of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the Additional Protocols thereto of 1977,

Aware that peace and security in Afghanistan are prerequisites for the full restoration of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, the voluntary return of the Afghan refugees to their homeland in safety and dignity, the clearance of the mines that have been laid in many parts of the country, and the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Afghanistan,

Commending the activity carried out by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Committee of the Red Cross in cooperation with the Afghan authorities, as well as non-governmental organizations, in favour of the people of Afghanistan, and expressing the hope of an early resumption of the repatriation of the Afghan refugees,

Taking note with appreciation of the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan (E/CN.4/1995/64) and of the conclusions and recommendations contained therein,

Noting with satisfaction that the Special Rapporteur was able to visit Kabul,

Expressing deep sorrow at the death of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Felix Ermacora, in Vienna on 24 February 1995, and praising his life-long dedication to the furtherance of human rights,

1. Welcomes the cooperation that the governmental and local authorities in Afghanistan and the Government of Pakistan have extended to the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan;

2. Also welcomes the cooperation that the Afghan authorities have extended to the Coordinator for Humanitarian and Economic Assistance Programmes Relating to Afghanistan and to international organizations, such as the specialized agencies, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Committee of the Red Cross;

3. Urges all the Afghan parties to intensify efforts aimed at achieving a comprehensive political solution leading to the cessation of armed confrontation and the establishment of a democratic government elected through free and fair elections based on the right to self-determination of the people of Afghanistan;

4. Calls upon all the Afghan parties to work with the United Nations special mission to Afghanistan, established in pursuance of General Assembly resolution 48/208 of 21 December 1993, with a view to achieving a comprehensive solution to the crisis in Afghanistan, and invites the special mission and the Special Rapporteur to exchange relevant information and to consult and cooperate with each other;

5. Recognizes that the promotion and protection of human rights should be an essential element in the achievement of a comprehensive solution to the crisis in Afghanistan, and calls on all the Afghan parties to respect human rights;

6. Urges all the Afghan parties fully to respect accepted humanitarian rules, as set out in the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the Additional Protocols thereto of 1977, to halt the use of weapons against the civilian population and to protect all civilians;

7. Calls for the unconditional and simultaneous release of all prisoners of war wherever they may be held, including former Soviet prisoners of war, and for the tracing of the many Afghans still missing as the result of the war;

8. Calls upon the Afghan authorities to investigate thoroughly the fate of those persons who have disappeared during the conflict, to apply amnesty decrees in a strictly non-discriminatory manner, to reduce the period during which prisoners await trial, to treat all prisoners in accordance with the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, and to apply to all suspected or convicted persons the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

9. Calls for the abolition of prisons run by political parties and armed groups;

10. Invites Member States and the international community to provide adequate humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan and to the Afghan refugees in the neighbouring countries pending their voluntary repatriation in accordance with relevant international instruments, in particular through a positive response to the appeal of the United Nations Secretary-General for financial support to the rehabilitation of Afghanistan, including support for activities such as mine detection and clearance and repatriation projects undertaken by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Coordinator for Humanitarian and Economic Assistance Programmes Relating to Afghanistan and other United Nations agencies or non-governmental humanitarian organizations;

11. Urges the Afghan authorities to provide sufficient and effective remedies to the victims of grave human rights violations, including torture, rape and other ill-treatment as reported by the Special Rapporteur, and to bring the perpetrators to trial in accordance with internationally accepted standards;

12. Calls upon all the Afghan parties to ensure respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of women in accordance with international human rights instruments, and upon the Afghan authorities to take effective measures to ensure participation of women in the social, political and cultural life of the country;

13. Strongly urges all the parties to the conflict to undertake all necessary measures to ensure the safety of all the personnel of humanitarian organizations and representatives of the media in Afghanistan;

14. Invites the United Nations to offer, upon request and with due regard to the Afghan tradition, advisory services and technical assistance concerning the drafting of the Constitution, which should embody internationally accepted human rights principles, and the holding of direct elections;

15. Encourages the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to study, with the contribution of its competent committees, appropriate ways and means of restoring the Afghan system of education and cultural heritage and in particular of restoring museums in the country;

16. Urges the Afghan authorities to continue to extend their full cooperation to the Commission on Human Rights and its Special Rapporteur;

17. Requests the Secretary-General to give all necessary assistance to the Special Rapporteur;

18. Recommends the translation, within existing financial resources, of the report of the Special Rapporteur into the Dari and Pashtu languages;

19. Decides to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for one year, and requests the Special Rapporteur to report on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan to the Commission at its fifty-second session and to consider submitting a report to the General Assembly at its fiftieth session;

20. Also decides to continue its consideration of the human rights situation in Afghanistan, as a matter of high priority, under the agenda item entitled "Question of the violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in any part of the world, with particular reference to colonial and other dependent countries and territories".
60th meeting
8 March 1995
[Adopted without a vote. See chap. XII. E/CN.4/1995/176]


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