GROWING THREATS AGAINST ANTI-CORRUPTION INSTITUTIONS IN AFGHANISTAN
Kabul- Afghanistan (PMG):
By: Humayoon Babur
Corruption is one of the biggest challenges for the current administration of Afghanistan to deal with. Over the past two years, many corruption cases have been strictly followed up by law enforcement agencies, particularly by the British funded Anti-Corruption Justice Center ( Known as (ACJC). Nevertheless, the anti-corruption staff of these institutions remains under high threat. Fayez Sahak is one of them. He has worked for around 2 years at the Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MEC) in Kabul as a Senior Vulnerability to Corruption Assessment Officer. His last investigation has proven to be very dangerous for him and his family.
Fayez launched an assessment inside the Ministry of Communication of Afghanistan where he found out that the leadership of the Ministry has abused his power and embezzled a huge chunk of the revenue collected from ten percent of tax levied on mobile phone users. This assessment has prompted President Ashraf Ghani to immediately fire Communication Minister Abdul Razaq Wahidi and sent his case to ACJC for trial.
The case is still in the court. No final verdict has been made yet. But it has already put the life of Fayez Sahak at risk. Unknown groups have started looking for him and warned his family to death. It has prompted him to quit his job. But his life is still under threat. A few months ago, several prosecutors of ACJC have been also shot dead while they were on their way home. Experts in Kabul believe that it has become very threatening for these institutions to operate and bring corrupt officials to court because most of them are linked with armed groups. Now the question is whether the current Afghan government and the International Community would be able to fight against corruption in Afghanistan amidst growing threats against anti-corruption institutions.