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UN Rights Chief Urges Reconsideration Of New Afghan Human Rights Appointments

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay (file photo)
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has warned that recent appointments to the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) compromise its independence and effectiveness.

In a statement on June 28, she said that with the accelerating transition in Afghanistan "now is not the time to weaken or undermine" the AIHRC, "but to strengthen it and ensure its members are of the highest integrity."

Pillay said that AIHRC members needed to be committed to human rights.

The statement follows the June 16 appointment of five new commissioners to the AIHRC by Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

He retained the organization's current chairwoman, Sima Samar, and four more serving commissioners.

The appointments were criticized for the past ties of some of the commissioners to political factions involved in the country's violence.
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