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Watchdog Urges Afghan Candidates To Focus On Rights

Afghan presidential candidates Qayum Karzai, Abdul Rahim Wardak, Zalmai Rassoul, and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai (left to right) take part in a debate at Tolo TV station in Kabul on February 4.
An international rights watchdog has called on Afghan presidential candidates to make human rights a "central focus" of their campaigns in the April election.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a statement issued on February 9 that only four of the 11 candidates in the upcoming poll responded to a questionnaire on the country's key human rights challenges.

BACKGROUND: Afghanistan's Presidential Hopefuls

Topics covered include accountability for war crimes, women's rights, and torture.

Brad Adams, HRW's Asia director, said, "The four presidential candidates who responded to this survey deserve credit for sharing their views on these critically important issues."

The four candidates who responded to the survery were Abdullah Abdullah, Qutbuddin Helal, Qayum Karzai, and Daoud Sultanzoy.

The HRW questionnaire is part of a broader effort to assess candidates' views on key human rights issues.
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