Hot Topic series continues in Edwards with Ahmad Nader Nadery
Vail CO, Colorado
EDWARDS, Colorado ” From war with Soviet forces, to control by the Taliban, to tyranny of warlords, Afghanistan has endured three decades of conflict that have taken the lives of over a million people and triggered countless horrendous violations of human rights. While the Afghani people have a strong desire for justice, the road toward achieving this goal is long and arduous.
A few weeks after the coalition partners toppled the Taliban in Afghanistan in late 2001, representatives of various factions met in Bonn, Germany under the auspices of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan to work out a road map for a new Afghan government. Ahmad Nader Nadery represented the Afghan Civil Society at this series of U.N. led peace talks. The agreement led to increased freedoms that had not been felt in Afghanistan since before the Soviet Invasion; a period of hopefulness emerged for the Afghan People.
Monday at 5:30 p.m. at the Chaparral, Cordillera Valley Club, Ahmad Nader Nadery will discuss the leadership capacity of the current administration of President Karzai and the difficulty in addressing the culture of impunity that has emerged. A new framework for human rights has developed, and Nadery will address its small successes and great challenges. He will also discuss the role of international involvement ” both in government forces and other efforts, and future possibilities. Finally, Nadery will address the balance of maintaining a stronghold on the fragile national security while pursuing justice.
Nadery heads the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission established in 2002 under the country’s new constitution. The goal of this group is to expose a range of crimes committed over the years by the country’s powerful regional warlords, including executions, forced marriages and war crimes.
Nadery’s activism began in 1991 while he was a student. Nader stood up against the injustice of the Taliban when they took control of Kabul, enduring physical abuse. He continued monitoring the Taliban until their defeat, when he began working with the United Nations to document Afghani human rights violations. Over the last decade, Nadery has waged a kind of guerilla war for human rights that resulted in several arrests, exile in Pakistan, and a public flogging in 1996 for not wearing a turban. Despite ongoing threats, Nadery has continued his work to expose and document violations of women’s rights.
Nadery works currently in several capacities, as a leading commissioner of the constitutionally mandated National Human Rights Commission, as chairperson of Fair and Free Election Foundation of Afghanistan, and as a member of the steering committee of an international organization called Citizens Against Terror. He has written extensively on politics and human rights in Afghanistan and is a member of Board of Editors of the International Journal on Transitional Justice. He served as spokesperson for the political national assembly (Loya Jerga) in 2002 and organized the election for this assembly. Nadery won several international human rights awards and was recognized as an “Asian Hero” by Time Magazine.