Act of abduction is detaining an individual by force in order to obtain an economic or political benefit. This brutal act has been classified as “crime against humanity” by International Criminal Court in 2002.
There are many instances where people (particularly famous individuals, traders and politicians) were disappeared by force in modern history, but this article focuses mainly on abduction for ransom in Afghanistan.
Before the fall of the Taliban regime, abduction was a rare crime in Afghanistan limited to only few incidences with political nature. However, after the fall of the regime and intervention of the international community in Afghanistan, the level of abduction had a constant raise in the society.
There are controversial reports indicating different figures of abduction annually in Afghanistan. Some documents reports 950-1000 abductions annually, while others claim 300-400 cases. Whatever the case, the numbers of abductions are very high in Afghanistan and this country is definitely included in the top ten countries suffering from Abduction.
There have been many discussions on why these incidents happen. Detailed studies of the cases reveal the following important factors:
- Weak and Corrupt Government:
The weak structure of the government is a main factor of abduction. The police and armed forces are not very well trained and have no experience on dealing with abduction cases. In many of the cases where police was involved, the victim was killed by the abductors.
Other cases include the participation of high ranking police and other officials in abductions. Several cases revealed that government officials are corrupt and in order to gain benefit they deliberately assist the abductors.
- Poor economic condition:
Low living standards, lack of employment and investment is an important factor that creates instability in the society. Young individuals who are jobless are attracted into organized crimes. Merchants who have invested and later on busted, cannot pay their debts are often the victims of abduction.
- Lack of a proper judicial system:
Sometimes, disputes among families and individuals lead to abduction. The judicial system is not able to judge fairly on many cases and this forces the one of the parties to take the justice in their own hands by committing the brutal act of abduction.
These all factors provided the abduction situation In Afghanistan, while there is no efficient solution have been found yet, but reform of Government in judicial system, empowering police forces, eradicating of corruption especially in judicial system are the solution for this problem. Unless the government make necessary changes in long term improvement of economy and amendment of judicial system a mass migration of merchants and important individuals will be inevitable.