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Afghanistan Chapter - 2017 Annual Report

Afghanistan Chapter - 2017 Annual Report
Dari Translation
Pashto Translation


Afghanistan’s overall stability and security remain precarious despite a sustained U.S.-led international effort to combat the Afghan Taliban and other extremist groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Qaeda. These groups’ violent ideologies and attacks threaten all Afghans, including the minority Shi’a Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Christian, and Baha’i communities. In 2016, with international assistance, the Afghan government made some progress in ousting the Taliban from areas it controlled in previous years. However, the government lacks the capacity to protect civilians from attacks due to its internal political instability; fragmented police, military, and intelligence forces; corruption; and weak economy. In addition, the country’s constitution and other laws are contrary to international standards for freedom of religion or belief. Based on these concerns, and recognizing that the Afghan government faces significant challenges in combating the Taliban and other violent extremist groups and generally lacks the capacity to protect religious and ethnic communities from violent attacks, in 2017 USCIRF again places Afghanistan on Tier 2, where it has been since 2006. In 2017, USCIRF also finds that the Taliban merits designation as an “entity of particular concern” for religious freedom violations under December 2016 amendments to the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (IRFA)