To Ismail Khan, the government of Herat, and all local and regional governors and leaders of Afghanistan
· Order all government officials, police, and military troops to stop harassing, questioning, or arbitrarily arresting women and men for activity protected under international human rights law, including behavior deemed "un-Islamic." Women and girls should not be questioned or harassed on the street or in their homes about their dress or about with whom they associate.
· Issue an order explicitly prohibiting forced medical examinations, at the instigation of police or any other person, of women and girls to determine sexual activity. Repeal all edicts, orders, or laws allowing their imposition.
· Ensure that private acts of violence and discrimination against women and girls are investigated, prosecuted, and punished appropriately.
· President Karzai and the Afghan Transitional Administration should use all available legal, political, and economic mechanisms to stop regional leaders, including Ismail Khan, from abusing the rights of women and girls or implementing laws or practices that violate international human rights law. Regional and local leaders who endorse or tolerate human rights abuses-including the repression of women and girls as detailed in this report-must be penalized in an effective and appropriate manner. Possible sanctions include withholding of non-vital governmental assistance and reconstruction assistance, loss of government honors or privileges in Kabul, or demotions and firing.
· President Karzai should require Ismail Khan to take action to end human rights abuses in the areas of Afghanistan under his control, including abuses against women and girls, and if he fails to do so, dismiss Ismail Khan as governor of Herat. President Karzai and the Afghan Transitional Administration should make all possible efforts to ensure that Ismail Khan is held accountable for violations of human rights committed by forces under his control.
· The Afghan Transitional Administration should work with all donor bodies to ensure that reconstruction funds do not directly benefit (financially or politically) regional leaders like Ismail Khan who are committing human rights abuses or implementing repressive measures against women and girls.
· President Karzai should order an executive delegation to Herat to investigate the allegations of human rights abuses contained in this and previous Human Rights Watch reports, and request that the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) assist. All witnesses and sources from whom testimony is gathered should be given contact information for independent Kabul government officials and UNAMA, be put on a "persons at risk" list, and be contacted regularly to ensure their ongoing safety.
· The Afghan Transitional Administration should promulgate legislation specifically prohibiting gender-based discrimination.
Additional recommendations to the Afghan Transitional Administration, as well as a comprehensive set of recommendations to the international community are in section V, below.