South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

An HRW official says the ex-football chief has not been arrested and the reasons are not clear. 

Patricia Gossman, an associate director for the Asia division at the Human Rights Watch (HRW), in an article published on Tuesday, June 18, says that Afghan citizens are fully aware of the influence the strongmen such as Keramuddin Karim, the former chairman of Afghanistan Football Federation, have over the Afghan judicial system.

She says that high-profile officials who are accused of abuse and other charges in Afghanistan have full impunity.

According to Gossman, one of the reasons that Karim has not been arrested so far is his influence over the Afghan judicial system.

“As yet, Karim has not been arrested. As the former governor of Panjshir province, Karim has considerable influence within the police and among other politicians. It will be a true litmus test of the Afghan government’s commitment to ending impunity for sexual violence if it can deliver justice this time. That would be a real win for Afghanistan and for the brave women who continue to seek justice despite the odds,” she further writes.

Ghulam Farooq Nazari, an MP, said the issues like the one created at the football federation, affects the people’s trust in sports institutions.

“Those who agree to engage their children in a sport, they trust the institutions because our country is a Muslim country,” said Nazari.

“Moral corruption and even national corruption that we hear indicate that some people want to get membership of this body through financial privileges,” said MP Mohammad Ali Akhlaqi.

This comes a week after the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) issued an arrest warrant for Keramuddin Karim a day after he was banned from the sport for life by the FIFA for sexual abuse.

Karim was fined $1 million by FIFA and the verdict came on Saturday after a meeting of the adjudicatory chamber of the ethics committee, the Associated Press reported.

FIFA said the “’investigation into Mr. Karim concerned the complaints lodged by at least five Afghani female football players, accusing him of repeated sexual abuse in the period 2013-2018, abusing his function as President of the AFF.”

The issue was raised by a member of the Afghan Football Federation, Khalida Popal, who claimed last year in December that woman members of the federation were abused physically and sexually by male members of the AFF at its headquarters and at a training camp in Jordan in 2016.


Updated By: 20.06.2019