Afghanistan: New UNAMA radio programme on the rule of law

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Not many ordinary Afghans are aware of their basic rights after years of war and instability and even the most simple of privileges are not realized by some.

A middle class citizen may not be able to tell you how he would argue with a police officer for his rights; people have forgotten their rights.

Now the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in the north of the country has started a radio programme up with the local station in Mazar-i-Sharif, Radio Nehad, 90.4 FM.

The programme includes drama and technical expertise on the rule of law and aims to deliver a clear and simple explanation about basic rights for people in Afghanistan.

The script of the programme is written by the legal unit of the Balkh Provincial Department of Justice.

The subject of the first episode "The Rights of Detainees", explained what rights a suspected detainee has while in police custody, such as the right to a lawyer, the right to be silent, the right to know about the charges,the limited amount of time the detainee can be kept in custody, the process of the case and other issues.

Each programme varies in length from 15 to 30 minutes and next week's programme on Tuesday will be a series of thee episodes on engagement, marriage and divorce, explaining the rights of men and women in married life.

Radio Nehad, an independent commercial radio station in Mazar-i-Sharif, founded in 2007, covers the entire territory of Balkh province and some areas of neighbouring Jawzjan province.

"The reason behind the conflicts and hostility in the world is a lack of knowledge about the rights of other people and your own - that is why people fight" said Dr Najeeb Paykan, the manager of Radio Nehad.

By Sayed Barez, UNAMA