Call to end election-related attacks in Afghanistan
Posted on Mar 16 2014 | IANS
Kabul, March 16 : Taliban threats and violence against campaign workers and election officials risk undermining Afghanistan's presidential election slated for April 5, Human Rights Watch said Sunday.
In a March 11 statement, the Taliban vowed to "use all force" to disrupt the vote and to "target all workers, activists, callers, security apparatus and offices".
The Taliban also warned the Afghan government not to use public buildings such as mosques and schools for the polls, suggesting these locations could be targets of attack.
International humanitarian law prohibits all attacks targeting civilians and civilian structures, Human Rights Watch said.
"The Taliban's threat to use violence to prevent the Afghan people from choosing a new president is as despicable as it is unlawful," said Brad Adams of Human Rights Watch.
"That threat highlights the responsibility of the Afghan government and its security forces to take all necessary measures to protect campaign activities and voters."
Prior to and during the presidential election of 2009 and the parliamentary election in 2010, the Taliban were linked to most serious incidents of violence and intimidation.
The April 5 election would mark the first democratic transfer of power from one president to another in post-2001 Afghanistan.