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Afghan president expected to reject war crimes amnesty resolution

[JURIST] Afghan President Hamid Karzai [BBC profile] is expected to reject a proposed amnesty resolution [JURIST report] that would grant pardons for crimes committed during the 25 years of war in Afghanistan [JURIST news archive], according to spokesman Karim Rahimi on Monday. Rahimi said the president believed the bill to be against basic constitutional principles and Islamic laws, because only victims of a crime have the authority to forgive it. To become law, the resolution must still be adopted by the upper house of the Afghan parliament and the president.

The measure, adopted by the lower house of the Afghan parliament earlier this month, stands in stark contrast to the Action Plan on Peace, Reconciliation and Justice [text] announced by President Karzai in December, which provides no amnesty for such criminals and calls for an end to the country's "culture of impunity." Last week, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official profile; JURIST news archive] criticized the resolution, stating that, to be effective, national reconciliation must uphold legal and international human rights standards [JURIST report]. AFP has more.

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