Abdul Hanan Rahnaward, Provincial Coordinator
Communities participation in the open trials is bridging the gap between public and courts of Parwan province. After the inception of community-based monitoring of trials program in April 2017, communities in the province are engaged with the courts than ever before which may indicate increased public trust in the judicial system of Parwan province.
Representatives of local councils along with local monitors facilitated by Integrity Watch Afghanistan are regularly monitoring the courts by participating in the open trials. Meer Abdullah Nayab, an Integrity Watch’s Integrity Leader is leading a team of ten other volunteers. He believes that awareness raising about open trials is encouraging more people to participate in open trials. Mr. Nayab states that “with the newly constructed building of Appeals Court of Charikar, more people can participate in conduct of open trails.” He also believes that “people can hold public officials into account if they more aware of their rights”.
As per the Afghan constitution, people are allowed to participate in court hearings. In Parwan province, courts welcome public monitoring and integrity volunteers enthusiastically observe the open trials. Abdul Malik Rajabzada of Chrikar’s Appeals Court appreciated the initiative and stated that “the court welcomes public participation and is ready to listen to problems face by people.”
Currently, there are fifteen volunteers trained and facilitated by Integrity Watch in Parwan provinces of whom only three are female. Integrity Watch also facilities court monitoring through communities and volunteers in Balkh, Kapisa, Nangarhar, Bamyan, and Herat.