Kabul. Mohammad Karimi* (name changed), a forty-year old father of four in charge of maintenance at a public school, was accused by a teacher for whom he occasionally worked of stealing her jewelry. He was immediately arrested and allegedly ill-treated by the police, charged with theft and subsequently sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. During the proceedings no defense lawyer to represent him could be found. It was only after the court handed down the sentence that he was assigned a defence counsel for free and events took a turn for the better. His conviction was overturned and he was released from prison.
Kabul. A flag ceremony has taken place on 1 July at EUPOL HQ Afghanistan marking the start of Lithuanian’s presidency of the EU which starts today. Lithuania has become the first of the three Baltic states to take over the presidency of the Council of the European Union and guides its direction of travel for the six-month duration of its role. Every six months an EU member state has responsibility to assume the Presidency of the EU Council.
Kabul. It was a mile-stone event: During the first ever conference on community policing in Kabul, national and international police officials and experts had the opportunity to exchange their knowledge. They discussed ways to build the vital trust and confidence between police and local communities.
Afghanistan’s Minister of Interior, General Ghulam Mujtaba Patang, said at the conference that the Police-e-Mardume (PeM) programme, initiated with the objective of law enforcement and community policing, is currently underway in eight of the country’s 34 provinces, where it is already part of the central policing structures.
Mazar-e Sharif. EUPOL Field Office in Mazar-e Sharif supports the Afghan National Police in recruiting policewomen. EUPOL Rule of Law Mentor for Gender and Human Rights, Sylwia Zalewska, together with her team and Afghan counterparts is preparing a recruitment conference with police commanders from police districts of Mazar-e Sharif. Elders and Mullahs will also be part of the conference, since they have a high reputation in the Afghan society and culture. “Their participation can encourage fathers and brothers to let their daughters and sisters join the police”, says Sylwia Zalewska.
Kabul. EUPOL Head of Rule of Law Component, Heikki Wendorf, and EUPOL Rule of Law Mentor to the MoJ (Ministry of Justice), Siv Thorskold, met the Afghan Minister of Justice Habibullah Ghaleb in order to discuss future cooperation between EUPOL and the Afghan Ministry of Justice in several judicial areas. EUPOL suggested bringing together the actors involved in the legislative process to be engaged in joint discussions and provide technical support to facilitate the adoption and implementation of laws.
Berlin. Under the motto “Working for Peace”, Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, Federal Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich and Federal Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière, for the very first time together honoured on 12 June the German participants in peace missions for their engagement in war and conflict zones. The three Ministers are honouring three soldiers, police officers and civilian experts each from three different missions, who will represent all Germans involved in operations of this nature. For EUPOL Afghanistan Anna Lengsfeld was stepping up the stage.
Herat. Herat Police Chief General Rahmatullah Safi and Herat Chief of National Directorate of Security (NDS) General Saboor while monitoring the security situation in Herat city, had a long walk and approached the citizens directly in Chawk-e Gulha area. The two chiefs spoke openly with dozens of people mainly the citizens passing by and shopkeepers. Both of them asked the people about the security situation, challenges and if they feel safe or not, and how to improve security in Herat. The citizens’ complaints were noted which were about the lack of parking lots, lack of police presence in the area of business canters, and presence of vendors near the shops which interrupt the work of shopkeepers.
Kabul. A joint meeting of EUPOL, Afghan Ministry of Interior and Ulama’s Council and teachers was held to discuss Ulama’s support for the recruitment of women to join the police. During the meeting, the Deputy Interior Minister Mirza Mohammad Yarmand, General Head of Masjids (mosques), Deputy Ministers of the Ministry of Women Affairs, Public Health and teachers and religious scholars of the Sharia Faculty and Kabul University gave speeches and shared their fruitful opinions on encouraging women to work with their male counterparts at the Afghan Ministry of Interior. The meeting was a pre-consultation gathering with the religious scholars, women and legal experts ahead of the Policewomen Conference which is due to be held in 2013 in Kabul.
Chaghcharan. The flags of the European Union and Japan were lowered in a symbolic ceremony at the Lithuanian-led Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in the Afghan province of Ghor on 3 June. The ceremony marked the completion of EUPOL Afghanistan’s engagement in the province. For five years, EUPOL experts conducted training courses and mentoring for the Afghan police and the judiciary. The PRT will be closed down at the end of August.