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Living together - Combining diversity and freedom in 21st-century Europe [Report of the Group of Eminent Persons of the Council of Europe] PDF DOWNLOAD >>

DOCUMENTARIO DEDICATO DA AL-JAZEERA ALLA LEADER RADICALE EMMA BONINO

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>> The Financial Times


AFGHAN WOMEN ARE BEING SOLD OUT FOR THE SAKE OF APPEASEMENT

The Financial Times - April 17, 2009 Sir, I read with great interest Gideon Rachman’s article, “Lift the veil on our war aims” (April 14) on the nature of Western presence in Afghanistan but have difficulties agreeing with its conclusions, namely that "we are not fighting for women's rights" but "to prevent the country ever again becoming a base for attacks on the West". If this is the case, couldn’t this aim could be better reached, and in a more lasting manner, if Afghanistan became a democratic society based on the rule of law and on the respect of human rights, including those of women? The real problem with the new Shi’ite Personal Status law is not only the provisions on marital rape, abhorrent as they are; the problem is that it officially relegates women to second class citizens. Even though Karzai has declared his intention to have it reviewed, following resounding condemnation both within and outside Afghanistan, the story does not end here. While a new wind of “reconciliation” and containment is blowing in western chanceries and think-tanks, I strongly believe that we cannot pay the cost of brokering a political truce in Afghanistan with the sacrifice of fundamental rights of women wilfully traded for short-term political gain, in this case the support of hardline Shi’ites ahead of presidential elections later this year. Our servicemen and women should not fight and die in Afghanistan in order to help return to the restrictive, discriminatory practices that existed under Taliban rule. This is why No Peace Without Justice and the Transnational Radical Party have launched an international appeal to put the Afghan authorities on notice that the we will continue to watch and that Afghan women will not be sold out for the sake of appeasement (The appeal is available on http://www.npwj.org/). The murder a few days ago of Sitara Achakzai in Kandahar and today's news about stone throwing against women peacefully protesting in Kabul does not bode well for the "modernisers and brave individuals within Afghan society who will fight for women's rights", as Mr Rachman put it. Our total, unflinching support is needed now. Emma Bonino Vice-president of the Italian Senate and founder of No Peace Without Justice





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