Kabul: 1:09 AM      
Welcome to Kabul:Reconstructions. You can follow the information below, which has been gathered from a number of sources by a number of participants (click on the names at left for bios), to reconstruct your own picture of events in Kabul since this site was launched on March 8th, 2003 and, in a sense, since the reconstruction of Afghanistan began somewhere in the winter of 2001-02.

Some of this information has been provided in response to specific questions submitted by visitors like you. Please note that this section of the project is now maintained as an archive and has not been updated since 2005. Click here to ASK A QUESTION.

Mariam Ghani
Zohra Saed
Massoud Hosseini
Nassima Mustafa
Bibigol Ghani
Arian Mouj Sharifi
Soraia Ghani

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"Land Mafia" (AFP)
Agence France Presse September 13, 2003 8:57 AM Eastern Time Property violations top Afghan rights probe Property violations accounted for nearly half the rights cases recently investigated, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission said Saturday as a UN-appointed housing rapporteur called for action against the "land mafia." The commission had investigated 634 rights violations since June, including cases of extra-judicial killings, rapes, trafficking in women and children, property violations and arbitrary detention, spokesman Ahmad Nader Nadery told reporters. "The biggest part of these violations are the destruction of houses and land property occupation and forced selling of properties," he said, outlining the findings of a report on rights violations. Property disputes were also linked to arbitrary detention and torture as the commission detailed cases in eastern Nangarhar province where people were forcibly evicted by the authorities, beaten and jailed. "During the forced excessive eviction some of the civilians were beaten badly and some of them taken into jails and tortured," Nadery said. The report also condemned the forced eviction of dozens of poor families and the destruction of more than 30 houses earlier this month in Shir Pur village, near Kabul's upmarket Wazir Akbar Khan district. Nadery said the people, who had lived in the area for up to 30 years, were not given alternative land as they had been promised and several were badly beaten during the evictions. "The legal procedure has been ignored in this process and there was no respect for the rights of the poor people," he said. The commission said most of the Afghan cabinet had been given plots of land in Shir Pur, which were estimated to be worth between 70,000 and 170,000 US dollars. "The municipality and the high-level officials who are involved in the forced evacuation of Shir Pur Hill without consideration of regulations for the confiscation of lands and by ignoring all national and international principles, in a very aggressive way violated the rights of civilians in Shir Pur Hill," it said. Visiting UN-appointed, independent rapporteur on housing rights Miloon Kothari also repeated allegations that top ministers were involved in illegal land grabs. "Unless the government takes steps against people who are violating human rights in this country no matter at what level of government they are, the credibility of the government is at stake," Kothari said. "We have enough evidence to show that there is a land mafia that is operating in the city of Kabul. "Unless some steps are taken to remove the powers of that mafia, the poor people in the city have less and less access to housing and land and I think the evidence today confirms that," he said at the end of a two-week visit to assess the housing and land situation throughout the country. Kothari on Thursday warned that property disputes could plunge Afghanistan back into "decades of conflict". He said land-grabbers had taken advantage of Afghanistan's chaotic post-conflict situation to seize property amid soaring real estate prices. Rents have rocketed since the fall of the Taliban, with houses rented for 200-300 dollars in 2001 now fetching up to 4,000 dollars a month.
Posted By: mariam   September 15th 2003, 2003 11:30 AM

Kabul: Partial Reconstructions is an installation and public dialogue project that explores the multiple meanings and resonances of the idea of reconstruction -- as both process and metaphor -- in the context of present-day Kabul.

www.kabul-reconstructions.net is an online discussion forum, information resource, and medium for the communication of questions and answers about the reconstruction between people inside and outside the city of Kabul itself.