The Ministry of Interior (Afghan National Police) as law enforcement entity on behalf of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan holds the duty to enforce laws; provide security, protect rights of citizens and promote national unity among Afghans all over the country. With consideration that:
•We serve to provide security for the people and protect national sovereignty, and
•We are at the service of our people and our nation. Serving our people is consistent with our faith, goal, and commitment.
I order all national police personnel to understand how to implement the Code of Conduct in their routine activities and how to treat the people with open mind and good manners. To better serve our people and community, this Code of Conduct is considered to be a significant tool for male and female police personnel that comprise the nucleus of the police forces.
Therefore, I direct the unifrom implementation of this Code of Conduct on all police personnel across the country.
General Bismullah Mohmmady
Minister of Interior
Oh you faith full followers! Be just full all the time, because just fullness is near to piety. (verse no.8 Almaida, Holy Quran)
Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Ministry of Interior
Code of Conduct for
Afghan National Police (ANP)
The Police Code of Conduct is an ethical commitment and a collection of standards that sets police personnel’s behavior. This Code of Conduct is based on the concept to provide better public service. Police personnel must be impartial in their performance and never get advantage of their official authority for their personal interests. This Code of Conduct provides a uniform and a clear collection of standards for ANP personnel’s behavior to ensure the existence of a clear guidance about expected policing actions. This Code of Conduct will be supportive and effectible, in order to fulfill requirements of ANP personnel’s legal position to perform their duties to protect and promote human rights.
This Code of Conduct sustains the expectations of the people and society of policing actions IAW Afghan applicable laws and international human rights standards. This Code of Conduct defines and interprets the mentioned laws and standards into specific guidance about appropriate policing performance.
The collection of standards for policing is not only placed in official structures (Regulations) but they also reflected in informal mechanisms such as (Better Management). The ANP Code of Conduct is an important mechanism to provide guidance in order to encourage professional police personnel to observe high standards. Through approval of United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), Afghanistan is committed to implement Behaviours Code of Conduct on public services; developing and implementing the ANP Code of Conduct is a commitment that is supported by the 140 other countries who signed the mentioned Convention.
Protection of life and property of the citizens (men and women) especially vulnerable groups of the people (Women and children), sustaining peace and stability for society, and the prevention and detection of crimes are the core obligations and responsibilities of the police forces. To fulfill these duties, police are granted extraordinary authorities. Therefore, the public and the police leadership maintain the right to expect the highest standards in policing performances.
While police personnel are on their duties, this Code of Conduct will be equally applied on all of them regardless of their position, title and rank. Also, it is precisely applicable and effectible on their behaviours while they are off duty.
Required actions will be taken based on police personnel misbehavior with regard to nature of misconduct. If police personnel’s actions are under question out of his/her duty obligation, the mentioned action will be investigated IAW excepted standards.
This Code of Conduct is a collection of rules that police officers must consider them as conditions for their employment. Violation to this Code of Conduct has disciplinary consequences for police personnel; serious violation would be considered as misuse of authority and lead to administrative or judicial pursue.
This Code of Conduct does not limit police personnel’s legitimate use of discretion, but it defines the parameters of ethical manners within which that discretion could be exercised.
3. Swearing an Oath (SOLEMN VOW)
I ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬______________, the child of the Afghan great nation which is comprised of all its ethnic groups that are all equal, by the name of Almighty Allah, I oath as an ANP personnel to observe the following rules and remain loyal to them:
1. In accordance with Afghan Constitution and Police Law (and any other Afghan applicable law), my core task as a member of the ANP is to serve the Afghan society, safeguard life and property of the citizens (Men and Women and children), and respect and protect their freedom and lawful rights.
2.It is my duty to obey the lawful orders of my superiors, not to be neglected in my duties, and avoid any unprincipled act and statement regarding my job and superiors.
3.I will never make false, misleading, or inaccurate reports and never intentionally hide, alter, or intimidate witnesses or evidence concerning any police duties.
4.I will never engage in any disgraceful, illegal, or disorderly conduct that could bring discredit upon me, the police administration and forces, including:
a.To involve criminal actions or groups.
b.To collaborate and cooperate criminals.
c.To allow my personal sentiments, political beliefs, friendships or personal disputes to influence official decision making or my job obligations.
d.To disclose confidential information to unauthorized individuals.
e.To willfully and intentionally violate citizens’ rights.
f. To misuse official authority and property.
g.Negligence in keeping secrets related to duties.
5.I will fight against any type of corruption and bribery.
1.I will fight against any sort of ethnic, tribal, religious, regional, and linguistic and gender discrimination.
2.I commit that: I will respect the International Declaration of Human Rights and never engage in violence and deviation from my official responsibilities. Also, I am against any form of torture and I will not insult or treat anyone inhumanely.
3.I commit that: I will report any suspicious or illegal activity of police personnel to my superiors in chain of command and if I observe same actions (any illegal misconduct or misuse of authrity by my superiors), I will report it to the appropriate superior authority.
4.I commit that: not to be a member of any political party during my service; I will not participate in any political activity or act in the interest of any specific political party.
5.I commit that: as a member of the Afghan National Police I understand my duties and responsibilities, and I will remain honest to fulfill them. Also, I will remain to be disciplined, obedient, professional and a loyal person to the goals of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in accordance with Afghan constitution and other Afghan applicable laws. I will obey the lawful orders of my superiors and will be kind to my subordinates; I will lead and cooperate my subordinates and I always will try my best to improve mine and my subordinates’ professional knowledge. I will not deny any of my best efforts to sustain peace and stability and equally law enforcement all over the country.
In case of violation from the above mentioned rules based on prevailing Laws and regulations I will be eligible for administrative and legal sue.
4. ANP Code of Conduct / Nine Basic Principles
As ANP personnel, I am obliged to observe the following nine principals:
1.The Rule of Law. I understand that each police personnel hold the role of an official representative of government, so, as I am well trusted, I should conduct my duties IAW Afghan applicable laws.
I am assigned to conduct policing authorities and duties based on applicable laws which I need to perform accordingly. Therefore, I commit to perform all my policing activities and responsibilities IAW applicable laws to protect and uphold the human and legal rights of all citizens which is one of preliminary duties.
2.Impartiality (Non-Discrimination). I will respect human dignity and support human rights; I will perform all my duties impartially; without favor, ill willing, gender, ethnicity, religion, political belief, or economic status of any person. I will treat all citizens especially vulnerable groups (women & children) and non-citizens through an equally and respectfully manner. I will never allow my personal sentiments, animosities, my family and personal relationships or friendships to effect or influence my official and professional obligations. I will enforce laws appropriately and and will conduct my best effort to gain the maximum public support and cooperation while carrying out my duties. I will behave and make my appearance nicer in order to gain trust of the people.
3.Use of Force. I will use force when necessary and only to the extent absolutely required for the performance of my duties. I will never employ unnecessary force or violence. I will use force as a preventive tool only when discussion, negotiation and persuasion have been attempted unsuccessfully. During the time when I carry out my duties, I will utilize force proportional to the level of threat, and use my firearms as a final option. In rare situations, even if I have to use force, I will never engage to apply unnecessary painful actions or torture on individuals or treat them by derogatory, cruelty or non-humanitarian manners. Also, I know that under no circumstances – including orders from a my superior, a state of war, a threat of war, a threat to national security, a political crisis or any public emergency – I am not allowed to impose torture, derogatory, cruelty or non-humanitarian actions or suffer them.
4.Responsibility. I know that it is my responsibility to ensure the health and well-being of individuals who are in my custody, and I am obliged to take immediate action in order to provide medical care such individuals, when required.
1.Confidentiality. If I observe, hear or learn an issue confidential in nature, I will keep secret, I will not attempt to disclose it unless if laws and regulations authorize me to do so. I know that members hold the right to be secure and their privacy needs to be protected; if I receive confidential information about them, I should not disclose them without permission of an authorized court.
2.Obedience to Orders. I understand that all lawful orders must be followed and applied. I can be charged with insubordination, If I fail to follow orders because of disobedience, negligence and delay. I also understand that obedience to superior orders should not justify serious human rights violations, such as unlawful killings and torture.
3.Service to the Community. I will serve the public; therefore I must always consider their safety and needs as a priority. I will provide all legal services that I am able to offer to any citizen and non-citizen, including providing assistance to people in need. I will conduct my best efforts to preserve good relationships with public and gain and retain their confidence. I will always respect and fully support my colleagues.
4.Honesty. I understand that the honesty of the Afghan police must be above reproach. I will avoid any actions that might harm my loyalty and as a result decrease confidence on Afghan National Police service. Also, I will not attempt to be corrupted or briber as well as I will not condone or fail to approach such reported acts.
I will honestly refuse to accept any gifts, presents, subscriptions, favors, gratuities or promises that could be interpreted as encourage me to refrain from performing any official responsibilities. I know a simply corrupted action conducted by me will draw a negative uncommitted picture of mine among the public, therefore I will avoid conducting such actions.
I will behave in a manner that should not discredit police force. While off duty, my personality, ethics and behaviors should be a model for other, so, as a result I should be treated better and respectfully where I live and work.
I am not only responsible for my own behaviour but, also I will not tolerate misbehaviours by other police personnel that are against this Code of Conduct. If I am informed the violation of Code of Conduct by other police personnel, I realize to report such violation to next superior in the chain of command or other authorized officials who holds the right to investigate such issues.
5.Discretion. As a responsible authority, I will utilize the discretion vested in my position and exercise it IAW applicable laws. I will make my decision based on three principles: 1) being reasonable; 2) being proportional; and 3) being documentary. I will consider all circumstances in determining how to use my discretion in a manner that is just and professional.
I will always remember that a well-timed word of advice can be more effective rather than an arrest to achieve a desired result.
V. DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES
1. MoI has the authority to ensure compliance of National police personnel based on this Code of Conduct. MoI holds responsibility to investigate received complaints against police personnel in a professional and diligent manner based on requirements of this Code of Conduct. All complaints about police personnel’s professional approach will be submitted to relevant Police Commanders or Inspector General (IG) in order to initiate disciplinary investigation.
2. Allegations about violation to Code of Conduct, as well as appeals by police personnel about disciplinary action lawfully taken against him/her by the police commander (direct superior) will be adjudicated by the MoI Disciplinary Panel/Board. Any Police personnel who is charged with violation of Code of Conduct will hold the right to be present in sessions when the Ministry of Interior Disciplinary Panel/Board investigate the issue.
3. The adjudication of complaints by the Ministry of Interior Discipline Panel/Board should be a speedy and justly process based on the requirements of the Code of Conduct. The purpose of adjudications is to subject those Police personnel who exceeded beyond the limitation of their policing professionalism or failed to consider requirement of Code of Conduct. During decision making process, all evidence arising from the investigation about the issue as well as the information given to the Panel must be considered.
4. The Police Commander or Inspector General (IG) Department will make final judgment whether an allegation is proved or not. If the allegation is not proved, the police personnel will continue to conduct his/her professional duties without any job obstacles affected by the allegation, but if an allegation about professional act violation by a police personnel is proved, Police Commander or Inspector General (IG) Department shall consider the particular circumstances such as situation in what the police personnel conducted the violation; his/her background and records, and behaviors.
5. IAW applicable laws, any kind of disciplinary action is implementable by the Police Commander or Inspector General (IG) Department after an explanation has been presented by the Police Officer. Only one disciplinary punishment will be applied on each case of violation the Code of Conduct. Each disciplinary punishment will be informed to Police personnel who violated the Code of Conduct in a written letter. The copy punishment letter will be kept at MoI inherent affairs directorate or relevant personnel directorate in order to be recorded in police personnel background book, but oral warnings will not be recorded as an exception. The Minister (Deputy Ministry, Immediate Supervisor) will also be formally informed of any finding against Police personnel who is subjected to violation of Code of Conduct.
6. The following disciplinary punishment will be applied on the police personnel subjected to Code of Conduct violation by Police Commander or Inspector General (IG) Department:
•An informal warning (Oral warning).
•A formal warning (written warning).
•Reduction in pay.
•Transfer to another location.
•Dismissal of duty “contract termination” (patrolman).
7. The following disciplinary actions will be taken:
•Demotion ( based on article 11 of Police Discipline Law)
Till Sergeant grad the authority refers to Mol and higher than this grade (high rank officers or General) the authority refers president office.
8. The accused police personnel holds the right of appeal (complain to the upper level) against the decision made by Police Commander or Inspector General (IG) Department or Ministry of Interior Disciplinary Panel/Board.
9. Any disciplinary violation that results to penalty proceedings will be investigated through the punishment process. During the investigation, the career status of the accused will be determined through police officer and NCOs’ inherent law and other relevant laws.
I, _____________________________________________, an Afghan National Police member; I state that:
I have received a copy of the Code of Conduct issued by the Ministry of Interior.
I know, it is my obligation to read and understand the Code of Conduct; if I violate any requirement of this Code of Conduct, I may be subjected to disciplinary actions based on Penal laws and other disciplinary procedures of the country (particularly in accordance with articles 279 - 275 of the Afghan Penal Law).
Name & Title: ____________________________ Signature (commander):________________________
Special thanks and gratitude to friends and colleagues from MOI Legal Advisory Unit Mr. Victor Schmidt, Legal Advisor to MoI , Mr. Sayed Assadullah Zal , Translator, and other colleagues who have contributed to developing National Police Code of Conduct.