Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 11th July 2013.

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Photo of Mike Hancock Mike Hancock Independent, Portsmouth South

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his Afghan counterpart regarding the appointment of the five new commissioners to the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and recent comments made by Navi Pilley, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, on the effect of this on the Commission's independence.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The British Government have been forthright in our promotion of the human rights of all Afghan citizens, and will continue to be so. We raised our concerns regarding the appointment process through a joint EU/Swiss statement at the senior officials meeting on the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework in Kabul on 3 of July.

We called on the Afghan Government to take appropriate actions to ensure that the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) retains its “A” accreditation from the International Coordination Committee of National Human Rights Institutions.

We support the work of the AIHRC and have provided £500,000 this year to help it act to protect and promote human rights. We will continue to work closely with the AIHRC to ensure it can perform effectively, and will continue to monitor its ability to function as an independent national human rights body.

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