Former Afghan Intelligence chief Asadullah Khalid was accused of human rights abuse by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) in their latest report.
It is believed that during his tenure in the Afghan Government, Khalid had maintained a close alliance with the US. Their friendship has been in the limelight since 2012 when the former US President Barack Obama had personally visited Khalid at a Virginia hospital.
Here, the question arises of how this important aspect was left unnoticed by the OCCRP in their report?
Such oversight could be recognized as an imperfect depiction of Khalid’s association and not justify the neutrality of the research in the broad context.
Khalid’s relations with the US:
Initially, Khalid’s association with the US started n the late 1990s during his tenure in anti-Taliban resistance. He is suspected to have been on the same wavelength with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) during the same time.
Khalid has been a trusted partner of the American government for very good years. He was a central character in stabilizing Afghanistan with the support of US efforts.
While criticizing Dominican citizenship, The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project shut one’s eye as they failed to mention the fact of Khalid’s personal relationship with the US.
Notably, OCCRP has mentioned as United States of America as a strong critic of the CBI programmes, but still failed to mention Khalid’s close relationship with US.
In particular, Khalid was accused of “human rights violation” however he has never been formally charged in court.
The OCCRP in their report mentioned that over 7,700 people were awarded citizenship in Dominica since 2007. These numbers also include those who received citizenship by virtue of marriage. Out of these 7,700 people, OCCRP discovered and questioned the characters of only 26 individuals.
Moreover, it is suspected that these 26 individuals had no criminal records when they were given Dominican Citizenship.OCCRP also failed to add a fact of “260 citizenships revoked” by Dominican authorities.
It is possible that those 26 individuals could be some of those whose citizenships were revoked during that time.
As a matter of concern, many people have found OCCRP’s as misinterpreted, inaccurate, and not neutral, calling the research is broadly published against the national program and misleading the world.
On the contrary, in 2023, Dominica become first nation to make mandatory interviews of the applicants for Citizenship by Investment (CBI).
Such inconsistency in the research stresses the urgency of cross-indexing the facts and making sure to provide a proper depiction in the report.
Dominica has maintained a transparent gazette of those individuals who have claimed the country’s citizenship and are easily accessible to the general public from the libraries of Dominica which is a hub of official copies of these documents.
The report also discussed some of the positives associated with CBI Programmes, and said that any government has the legal right and sovereign power to set its own standards in the matter of citizenship.
The Opposition’s Connection
The accuracy and credibility of the report were also questioned by the ASSOCIATES TIMES, a local media network. Just last week the media group disclosed chat images between Trevor Tossy Johnson- member of Opposition UWP and reporters of OCCRP.
In the viral chats, Johnson admitted that he was in communication with the international media group. However, the legitimacy of this communication is still not acknowledged.
Although, these disclosures built a path of doubt that certain individuals were already aware of these journalist’s determination to compose a story on Dominica’s CBI program.
It seems that the opposition UWP points its fingers at the governance of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, through the article released by OCCRP.
This did not happen for the first time, however, the opposition consistently planted allegations against the Prime Minister for years. It is noted that OCCRP accused the Prime Minister of accruing great money through these citizenship-by-investment programs. Though they don’t have any specific evidence on their allegations.
Interestingly, they called Lennox Linton a prime opposition leader. However, they failed to notice the fact when Linton was exposed by Al-Jazeera where he signed a document that promised to provide a passport in return for election funding if he elected to win.
This is considered a one-sided story comprised of many shortcomings and misleading information which triggered the governance of the Prime Minister without any relevant evidence.
Integrity Commission came forward with a declaration that clarified that the allegation made by the opposition leader has no supported evidence. There is a need to cross-check the information with the relevant sources.
The report also confirmed the transparency of the candidates’ names associated with the CBI program is publicly available in the Gazette and offline as well. The Government Accountability Project focused on improving the transparency of the documents.
OCCRP also mentioned that Dominica’s citizenship by investment forbade individuals who have any past criminal records. It emphasized on the vetting process, and mentioned that its carried out by third party agencies based in different countries.