CNN, July 5, 2010
Afghanistan Corruption Twist
THOSE UNIFORMS ARE FOR SALE HERE, NO QUESTIONS ASKED, RIGHT UNDERNEATH THE NOSES OF THE REAL POLICE
By ATIA ABAWI
Violence isn't the only major problem in Afghanistan.
Corruption is also hampering the war effort.Last week, US lawmakers voted to cut billions of dollars in aid to the Afghan government because of corruption.
But Afghan officials say Western contractors are also to blame.
In Kabul, a film-maker has his own unique take on the issue.Atia Abawi has that.
IT LOOKS JUST LIKE A TYPICAL AFGHAN POLICE CHECKPOINT, BUT AN ATYPICAL OFFICER…CONFUSED DRIVERS ACCEPT THE $2 THIS MAN DRESSED AS A POLICEMAN OFFERS THEM ALONG WITH AN APOLOGY FROM THE KABUL POLICE DEPARTMENT FOR ANY BRIBES THEY WERE FORCED TO PAY IN THE PAST.
ACCORDING TO A REPORT BY THE UNITED NATIONS OFFICE FOR DRUGS AND CRIMES,ONE OUT OF EVERY TWO AFGHANS HAD TO PAY AT LEAST ONE KICKBACK TO A PUBLIC OFFICIAL. THE AVERAGE AMOUNT FOR A BRIBE WAS $160 IN A COUNTRY WHERE THE GDP PER CAPITA IS A MERE $425 A YEAR AND AFGHANS PAID OUT $2.5 BILLION IN BRIBES IN 2009 ALONE
CNN, Jul. 5, 2010
BUT AMAN MOJADIDI IS NOT AN OFFICER - HE'S THE FILMMAKER BEHIND THE MOVIE 'PAYBACK'.
HE WANTED TO FIND A CREATIVE WAY TO EXPLORE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN AFGHAN CITIZENS AND ONE OF THE MOST CORRUPT POLICE INSTITUTIONS IN THE WORLD.
All of them stopped, all of them responded to this check point with this same kind of attitude, whether it was fear or a kind of animosity coming from them or some kind of nervousness .
IT'S ILLEGAL TO PURCHASE POLICE AND MILITARY UNIFORMS WITHOUT PROPER PAPERWORK, BUT THIS BUSINESS, WHERE IT APPEARS EVERYTHING IS FOR SALE, IS BOOMING.
This shop makes uniforms for both the Afghan National Police as well as the Afghan National Army and if you look here there's also a Marine uniform, where people who say they are interpreters come in and buy extra uniforms .
THOSE UNIFORMS ARE FOR SALE HERE, NO QUESTIONS ASKED, RIGHT UNDERNEATH THE NOSES OF THE REAL POLICE.
AFGHANISTAN IS THE 2ND MOST CORRUPT NATION IN THE WORLD, WITH ONLY SOMALIA BEHIND THEM.
ACCORDING TO A REPORT BY THE UNITED NATIONS OFFICE FOR DRUGS AND CRIMES, ONE OUT OF EVERY TWO AFGHANS HAD TO PAY AT LEAST ONE KICKBACK TO A PUBLIC OFFICIAL.
THE AVERAGE AMOUNT FOR A BRIBE WAS $160 IN A COUNTRY WHERE THE GDP PER CAPITA IS A MERE $425 A YEAR AND AFGHANS PAID OUT $2.5 BILLION IN BRIBES IN 2009 ALONE.
THESE TRUCK DRIVERS IN THE MIDDLE OF KABUL SAY THEY DEAL WITH IT ON A DAILY BASIS.THEY SAY THE TRAFFIC POLICE ALWAYS TAKE A CHUNK OF THEIR EARNINGS.
When they like to bother us, they make us pay double. ABDUL RASOUL SAYS If you plead with them and tell them you don't want to pay - then we always have to pay double.
THE INTERIOR MINISTRY ARE SAYING THEY'RE AWARE OF THE PROBLEM AND FINDING SOME SUCCESS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION.
AND AT LEAST THIS OFFICER IS WINNING OVER THESE AFGHAN PEOPLE - EVEN IF HE IS JUST ACTING.
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