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27 May 2018
Writer: Hasibullah Noori

Outside the justice system

An investigation reveals more than one hundred districts do not have courts and attorney general office.

Extensive interviews with local officials across the country indicate this is mostly due to a lack of buildings or security concerns.

Courts and the Attorney General Office (AGO) are not working in 111 of Afghanistan's 364 districts. Barring Badakhshan, Killid has interviewed local administrators in 33 provinces to find that the judges and prosecutors are only able to conduct their business in the provincial capitals and people seeking justice have to make the journey there from their villages.

Only a few provinces – Kabul, Panjsher, Badghis, Parwan, Takhar, Samangan and Nimroz – made the grade with functioning courts and AGO's in all districts.

The provinces that were investigated include Ghazni, Maidan Wardak, Zabul, Paktia, Paktika, Kandahar, Helmand, Farah, Uruzgan, Herat, Khost, Logar, Nooristan, Kunar, Laghman, Nangarhar, Kunduz, Jowzjan, Sar-e-pol, Ghor, Faryab, Baghlan, Daikundi, Kapisa, Balkh and Bamyan.
Killid tried to get the views of the Supreme Court and AGOs but despite promises to speak no one ever showed up for interviews. A closer scrutiny of some provinces:

Ghazni
The province is divided into 18 districts but the courts and AGOs are active only in six. Mohammad Aref Noori, spokesperson to the governor, says, "The district of Nawa is under the control of Taliban for the last 13 years."

Paktika
The province has 18 districts but there are signs of courts and AGOs in only 10 districts. Abdul Tawab, head of Court of Appeal, Paktika, says, "The courts and attorney general offices are inactive in Barmal, Naka, Mata Khan, Sarawza, Oman, Waza Khwa, Gumal and Worma."

Zabul
The province has 10 districts but the courts and attorney general offices are active only in three. Salam Sial, spokesperson for the governor, says that Shahr Safa, Shah Joy and Shinkai are the districts that judges and prosecutors are present in. "Neither courts nor AGOs exist in the rest of the districts due to security problems," he adds.

Kandahar
Of the province's 17 districts, there is no sign of either courts or AGOs in seven. Hanan Munib, an adviser to the governor, says, "The courts and AGOs are active in 10 districts."

Jowzjan
Two of the province's 10 districts – Darzab and Khushtepa – are under the control of armed opponents of the government. Mohammad Reza Ghafoori, spokesperson for the provincial governor, says, "Justice and judicial centres are not active in the two districts."

Sar-e-pol
The province has seven administrative units including the centre but the district of Kohistanat is under the control of armed opponents of the government for the last two years. Zabihullah Amani, spokesperson for the governor, says, "The courts and AGOs are active in the rest of the districts."

 

Herat
The province is divided into 15 districts but it is only Keshk Kuhna and Shindand districts that the affairs of the courts and AGOs are conducted in the provincial capital. This was confirmed by Jailani Farhad in an interview.

Ghor
The province has 9 districts but the activities of courts and AGOs are not available in four districts. Abdul Hai Khatibi, spokesperson for the governor says, "The districts of Taiwara, Pasaband, Shahrak and Charsada are districts where the courts and AGOs offices are closed due to security problems."

Helmand
The province has 13 districts. However, the judges and prosecutors of the districts of Khanshin, Marja, Sangin, Baghran, Dishow and Nawzad perform their duties in the provincial capital. Omar Zawak, the governor's spokesperson, told Killid.

Balkh
The activities of courts and AGOs are not seen in four out of 14 districts of Balkh province. Munir Ahmad Farhad, provincial spokesperson, says, "The activities of courts and AGOs Shortepa, Kaldar, Kushenda and Razi are performed in the provincial capital due to lack buildings."

Bamyan
The province is divided in six districts. Saighan district does not have a court and AGO as there is no building, says Sarwar Ali Srosh, head of the appeal court.

Khost
The province has 12 districts and five do not have a court and AGO. The judges and attorney general of Spera, Sabari, Gurbuz, Zazi Maidan and Trizi are working out of the provincial capital.

Nangarhar
This large province is divided into 21 districts. Ataullah Khoogiani, spokesperson to the governor, says the courts and AGOs in three districts are crippled by the security problems. The districts are Pachiragam, Hesarak and Sherzad.

Kunar
Of the province's 14 districts, two – Chapa Dara and Ghazi Abad – do not have justice and judicial institutions. The governor's deputy spokesperson spoke to Killid in an interview.

Nuristan
Of the province's eight districts, the court and AG's office of two districts functions out of the provincial capital. Hafez Abdul Qayoom, governor of Nuristan, has identified the two districts as Kamdesh and Bargmatal.

Laghman
The province has five districts and the court and AGO of only one district is functioning. Sarhadi Zwak, the provincial spokesperson, says, the "court and AGO is active only in Alishang district."

Kunduz
Only three out of the province's nine districts is active. Nematullah Timori, the acting speaker of the governor say, "The courts and attorney general offices are not active in six districts including three newly established districts and their affairs are performed in the centre (provincial capital)."

 

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