US and EU call for inquiry in Afghan policewomen abuse

US and EU call for inquiry in Afghan policewomen abuse
Momena Karbalayee said she was raped after refusing to spend the night with police officials. Source: BBC
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Daily US Times: The European Union and the United States are calling for an immediate investigation into the “shocking” claims of rape and sexual harassment of Afghan policewomen.

It follows an investigation from BBC which revealed policewomen faced widespread abuse by their colleagues.

A number of women told the British media outlet that they were too scared to report the attacks, which were often by their superiors.

Afghanistan authorities said it is committed to change, but rights groups say perpetrators are rarely punished.

Ambassador Ross Wilson, the US Charge d’Affaires to Afghanistan, said in a statement: “Afghan women who choose to serve their country as police officers are courageous patriots.”

The statement added: “They face formidable cultural, social, political and security barriers, and we and all Afghans should honour and support their service. These reports​ are shocking, and we urge their prompt investigation by Afghan authorities.”

The US also urged the protection of the women who waived their anonymity to speak in the documentary from further mistreatment.

The EU said in a statement that it had “a zero tolerance policy for such cases” and “strongly advocates” for cases to be fully investigated when they arise.

Nabila Massrali, spokeswoman for the EU’s security policy and foreign affairs said that the 27-nation bloc had “intensified the work for a coherent reform of police anti-harassment policies”,

She added that the EU would “take stronger measures should the situation not improve in the near future”.

The Afghan interior ministry that the country it was committed to “providing a safe work environment for women in the police force”.

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