New vehicles assist Afghan Rule of Law efforts

Release No: UNRELEASED Oct. 11, 2010 PRINT | E-MAIL

KABUL, Afghanistan (Oct. 11, 2010) — Beginning Oct. 10, officials of the Supreme Court of Afghanistan will use 19 new vehicles for safe and reliable transportation in and around the four regional courts of Kabul, as the country increases its rule of law capacity.

“These vehicles will be used to transport the judges from their home to the office to so they will not face intimidation,” said Mr. Khesrawee, deputy administrator for the Supreme Court of Afghanistan. The vehicles are needed because of the dangers judges face.

“Afghan judges face many problems. Some have been killed and some have been kidnapped,” Khesrawee said. “One judge who was hearing a drug case was shot in the chest and killed in his own home after he refused to accept money in exchange for a verdict.”

“Having this (vehicle) package will definitely solve a big problem in Kabul. We are very pleased,” said Chief Justice Abdul Salam Azimi, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

The U.S. government purchased 13 vans and six sedans to provide secure, dependable transportation for some of the 1,600 judges in Kabul. Two additional vehicles will be delivered later this week.

Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435 facilitated the $1.2 million purchase using Commander’s Emergency Response Program funds which enable commanders to successfully respond to urgent humanitarian relief and reconstruction requirements within their areas of responsibility by carrying out programs that immediately assist the local population.

“Providing safe and reliable transportation to judges who hear sensitive national security cases is of critical importance to the development of rule of law in Afghanistan,” said U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Robert S. Harward, CJIATF-435 commander. “The lack of reliable transportation in Kabul results in the delay and cancelation of scheduled court sessions, undermining rule of law efforts.”

CJIATF-435 is coordinating several CERP projects throughout Afghanistan including a road improvement project near the Afghan National Detention Facility.

CJIATF-435, in partnership with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and U.S. interagency and international partners, conducts operations in detention, corrections, judicial sector and biometrics.  CJIATF-435 seeks to create conditions for Afghan criminal justice and dispute resolution participants to work free from intimidation and attack and to do so in an integrated and transparent manner.  Military members work with Afghan partners and civilian interagency counterparts to help establish sustainable Afghan formal and traditional rule of law institutions that are legitimate, accessible and responsive to the Afghan people.