The Travesty of Justice
On 27 April, 2016, the Chief Justice of Herat’s Supreme Court was killed by unknown individuals. Mr. Samiudeen Raheen was a great public servant and a great advocate for justice and the rule of law. His death is a colossal loss.
The motive behind his murder is unclear. But given his position, it is clear that whoever committed this heinous murder is a big political player on the Afghan political scene. Mr. Raheen was murdered because he was a clean government official who could never be bribed.
Considering Mr. Raheen’s popularity among the people of Herat, many Heratis demand that the perpetrators of this crime should be brought to justice. The Afghan police, one of the most inept and corrupt forces in the world, immediately arrested one of its finest officers because he, too, had proven a great nuisance to them. He was not involved in corruption and always spoke out about his dishonest superiors.
The officer they arrested is Khosrow Alokozay. He was injured in line of duty a week before the incident that claimed the life of Mr. Raheen. How the police can implicate Mr. Alokozay in the murder of Mr. Raheen, given that he was immobile due to his injuries, is beyond baffling.
Warlords, mafia groups, and drug-trafficking syndicates are heavily involved in the government of Afghanistan. These groups will eliminate anyone who stands in their way. Mr. Raheen and Mr. Alokozay were two such individuals; they wouldn’t be stared down nor would they shy away from doing what’s right.
What the real perpetrators of the murder of Mr. Raheen have done is a classic Machiavellian design. They have murdered their enemy number one and have erected bogus charges against their enemy number two, eliminating both in the process. Without any solid evidence or justification, the police have arrested Mr. Alokozay. They have cut off his communications to his family and denied his right to a lawyer while leaking false information to various news outlets indicating that Mr. Alokozay is the murderer.
Such a practice is not only wrong and detrimental to the rule of law in Afghanistan, but is also pervasive throughout the country. Afghanistan, with the help of the United States and other foreign governments, has made great progress in many spheres. But its justice system is rigged and corruption is prevalent at the highest levels of government. Mr. Alokozay’s arrest and illegal detention is a perfect case in point.
Mr. Ghani and Abdullah pledged that they would work harder to bring justice, equality, and fairness in war-ridden Afghanistan. Making a wrong right in the case of Mr. Alokozay is a great starting point. Such a move will not only do justice to Mr. Alokozay’s family, but it will also honor Mr. Raheen’s life and what he stood for in his life.
My position is not to release Mr. Alokozay without a thorough investigation, but rather to look into the case and find the real motive behind the murder of Mr. Raheen, which was beyond Mr. Alokozay’s capacities in every way. Scapegoating a fine, honest officer and assigning the crime to him will prove to be a great travesty of justice.