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UN Mission To Afghanistan Receives Petition Against Hekmatyar

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar arrived in Kabul on May 4 after more than 20 years in self-imposed exile.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) says it has received a petition from Afghans seeking justice for alleged victims of warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

Hekmatyar, one of the main leaders of armed factions in the Afghan civil war in the 1990s, returned to Kabul this month as part of a peace deal with Afghanistan's government granting him immunity.

UNAMA said in a statement that the petition was received on May 25.

The peace deal has been criticized by many Afghans and by Western rights groups, which accuse Hekmatyar and his Hezb-e Islami militia of gross human rights violations during the civil war and cite their deadly attacks on U.S. and Afghan forces since the U.S.-led invasion that drove the Taliban from power in 2001.

"Afghan citizens and others who have been victims of atrocities must not be deprived of their right to judicial redress," said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN secretary-general's special representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA.

"The United Nations will continue to support Afghans in their efforts to seek peace, justice, and security," Yamamoto said.

At the same time, "UNAMA has welcomed agreements that contribute to a reduction of violence in Afghanistan towards allowing Afghans to live in peace with each other, and remains encouraged by the progress in the implementation of the agreement between the government of Afghanistan and Hezb-e Islami," the statement said.

Hekmatyar arrived in Kabul on May 4 after more than 20 years in self-imposed exile.

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