To Ismail Khan and the Herat provincial government:
_ Detainees should only be held in officially recognized places of detention. Cease the practice of secret detention even if it takes place on the premises of an officially recognized detention facility;
· Make publicly available regularly updated figures on the number of individuals detained, with information on the nature of their alleged crimes and the places of their detention. Accurate registers must be maintained, containing the names and places of detention, readily available to detainees' family, counsel, the United Nations, local human rights groups and other legitimately interested persons.
· Immediately relax all restrictions by the provincial government of Herat that violate rights of freedom of expression and association.
_ Publicly renounce all restrictions on publishing newspapers or journals in Herat, and affirm that all persons are entitled to publish and speak freely and organize associations or other groups in accordance with international law;
To President Hamid Karzai and the Afghan Transitional Administration:
· The Afghan Transitional Administration should work with all donor bodies to ensure that no developmental or governmental assistance is supplied directly from donor funds to Ismail Khan's government, at least until sufficient steps are taken to address the problems identified in this report.
· President Karzai should announce and insist that all regional leaders, including Ismail Khan, must comply with international human rights standards and the rule of law, and that they will be held accountable for abuses committed by them or by forces under their control. President Karzai should order an executive delegation to Herat to investigate the allegations contained in this report and request the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) to assist it. 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 ratify the Rome Treaty of the International Criminal Court, which would permit the Court to investigate and prosecute future war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity, when the courts in Afghanistan are unwilling or unable to do so.
· President Karzai should require that Ismail Khan take action to end abuses in the areas of Afghanistan under his control 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.
· In coordination and consultation with UNAMA, the Afghan Transitional Administration should take immediate steps to restructure and strengthen the Afghan Human Rights Commission so that it can more effectively investigate human rights conditions in Herat and other areas in Afghanistan outside of Kabul.
· President Karzai should immediately issue a presidential order reaffirming 1) that torture and other acts of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment in police or military custody are illegal under international and Afghan law; and 2) the rights of freedom of expression and freedom of association under international and Afghan law, citing the right under the Afghanistan constitution now in effect to establish publications without prior permission from any government office, and affirming that publishers need no prior permission or permit papers to print newspapers, journals, magazines, or other publications.
· The Afghan Transitional Administration should implement recommendations made in the final declaration of the International Seminar on Promoting Independent and Pluralistic Media in Afghanistan, which was issued on September 5, 2002, especially those calling for the elimination of licensing requirements or permits for newspapers, and for investigations into harassment of journalists and media officials.
· The Afghan Transitional Administration should request that UNAMA and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) provide support to nascent media in Herat and other areas, including protection assistance, such as linking media officials with UNAMA civil and political affairs officers and other human rights monitors, and monitoring abuses and intimidation of journalists and publishers.
· The Afghan Transitional Administration should renew requests to all relevant nations for expansion of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to other areas in Afghanistan outside of Kabul, including Herat.
To the United Nations:
· UNAMA should expand its human rights monitoring mechanisms in Afghanistan. The current plan for expansion of UNAMA human rights monitoring teams is not adequate-a greater number of monitors must be put on the ground, and with more resources.
· UNAMA officials should use all available means to put pressure on Ismail Khan and his government to stop torture, summary arrests, and other abuses of power, including restrictions on freedom of expression and association.
· UNAMA officials should work with the Afghan government and all donor bodies to ensure that no development or governmental assistance is supplied directly to Ismail Khan's government, at least until Ismail Khan takes sufficient steps to address the problems outlined in this report.
· UNAMA officials should work with UNESCO and relevant NGOs assisting media rehabilitation to support journalists and publishers in Herat and other areas in Afghanistan. Such support should include protection components: UNAMA and UNESCO officials should, as part of their mandate, help pressure Afghan officials to improve security for Afghan journalists.
· UNAMA officials should assist the Afghan Transitional Authority to investigate the allegations in this report, especially in efforts to protect witnesses and sources.
· The secretary-general and the special representative of the secretary-general should continue to urge the expansion of ISAF with relevant U.N. member states. As it stands, U.N. monitoring is made difficult by the fact that U.N. offices cannot offer concrete protection to witnesses and other vulnerable persons. An expanded ISAF force in cities such as Mazar-e Sharif, Kandahar, Herat, Jalalabad, and Bamiyan would go a long way in improving the U.N.'s capacity to improve the general human rights and security situation in Afghanistan.
· UNHCR (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) and IOM (International Organization for Migration) should ensure that security problems related to the allegations in this report are incorporated into current planning and communicated to all offices in Iran, Pakistan, and other nations hosting displaced and refugee Afghans.
To the United States:
· The United States should halt all military assistance and other direct assistance to Ismail Khan and all other independent military leaders in Afghanistan. If military assistance is to be provided to Afghanistan, it should only be channeled through the central government for the creation of the national army.
· The U.S. Congress should conduct an immediate investigation of the role of U.S. military and non-military assistance in Afghanistan in strengthening warlords who are known to be engaging in gross human rights abuses.
· The United States should finalize plans, in consultation with Germany, the Netherlands, and other nations involved in international peacekeeping in Afghanistan, for expanding ISAF outside of Kabul. It should provide necessary logistical and intelligence assistance to make this possible.
· The United States should review all of its development aid projects in western Afghanistan to ensure that they are not directly supporting Ismail Khan or increasing his legitimacy.
· The United States should provide assistance to improve the protection, independence, and professionalism of Afghan media.
· The United States should comply with its stated policy of respecting states' interests in joining the International Criminal Court and ensure that no efforts are made-directly or indirectly-to block the Afghan government from ratifying the statute for the International Criminal Court.
To the Government of Iran:
· All relevant diplomatic and political officials should pressure Ismail Khan to stop torture and arbitrary arrests in western Afghanistan.
To the European Union:
· All E.U. members, and in particular Germany and the Netherlands, who will soon assume leadership of ISAF, should finalize through high-level consultations plans for expanding ISAF to other areas of Afghanistan outside of Kabul.
· Relevant E.U. and E.C. officials should review all E.U. and E.C. development projects in Afghanistan to ensure that no development or governmental assistance is supplied directly to Ismail Khan's government, at least until Ismail Khan takes sufficient steps to address the problems outlined in this report; officials must also ensure that all projects comply with existing E.U. and E.C. human rights conditionality requirements.
· E.U. and E.C. donor bodies should review relevant development projects to explore methods for improving the protection and independence of Afghan media.
To Other Donor Nations and Nations Involved in Afghanistan:
· Relevant officials should work with the Afghan government and all donor bodies to ensure that no development or governmental assistance is supplied directly to Ismail Khan's government, at least until Ismail Khan takes sufficient steps to address the problems outlined in this report.
· All nations involved in Afghanistan's reconstruction, especially those on the U.N. Security Council, should take part in immediate high-level consultations about expanding ISAF to other areas in Afghanistan outside of Kabul, including Herat.
To the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR):
· UNHCHR should offer to coordinate the work of all relevant rapporteurs in Afghanistan (see recommendations following), to ensure an effective outside monitoring effort of human rights conditions in Afghanistan.
To the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment; Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions; and the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Afghanistan:
· Rapporteurs should use available advocacy resources to put pressure on Ismail Khan to end the abuses documented in this report.