Afghan Biographies

Samar, Sima Dr.

Name Samar, Sima Dr.
Ethnic backgr. Hazara
Date of birth 1957
Function/Grade Ex State Minister for Human Rights and international Relatio
History and Biodata

Sima Samar, state minister for human rights was dismissed from her job by President Ghani. She confirmed her dismissal from office on Sunday, saying that the whole ministry was dissolved. Samar said that her dismissal was proposed by the administrative office of the president and was approved by the president. Samar, a close ally to President Ghani was appointed to the position last year. Samar said no consultations had been held with her in the lead up to the decision. (20201219)

1. State Ministry for Human Rights and International Relations:
Dr. Sima Samar (20190719)
2.Previous Functions:
Vice Chair of the Emergency Loya Jirga in 2002,
Minister of Women’s Affairs,
Shuhada Organization,
Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) (20130616, 20141013, 20181109, 20190717)
President’s Special Envoy and State Minister for Human Rights and International Relations (20190719)

3. Biodata:
Sima Samar was born in February 1957 in Ghazni province. Samar’s father would not let her attend university unless she agreed to an arranged marriage. She accepted a marriage to Abdul Chafoor Sultani on the terms that he let her study medicine.  She obtained her degree in medicine in February 1982 from Kabul University, she was the first Hazara woman to achieve this in Afghanistan. During the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, Dr. Samar was forced to flee after her husband was arrested 1978. He was never heard from again. In 1984, oppressive Russian forces forced Samar to flee to Pakistan with her young son. She stayed there for the next 17 years, dedicating herself to aiding other Afghan refugees. In Pakistan, Dr. Samar worked to set up medical services for Afghan refugees. In 1987, she helped open the first hospital for women, staffed by women in Quetta, Pakistan. In 1989, she established the Shuhada Organization, a non-governmental and non-profit organization committed to the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan with special emphasis on the empowerment of women and children. Dr. Sima Samar now is the Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). Before chairing the Commission, she was elected as the Vice Chair of the Emergency Loya Jirga in 2002.

At the Bonn meeting in 2001, Dr. Samar was chosen to be the first Deputy Chair and Minister of Women’s Affairs in the Interim Administration of Afghanistan. Dr. Samar has received various international awards for her work on human rights and democracy. In 2001 she received the John Humphrey Freedom Award. Her brother Ahmad Ali is the AIHCR finance secretary. MNA Najiubullah Kabuli says, Ahmad Ali received bribes from warlords and he removed their names from the list of war criminals (20091205). 2005 to 2009, Samar worked as the U.N. special reporter on the human rights situation in Sudan.

Sima Samar won the Swedish Right Livelihood Award honouring those who work to improve the lives of others. The Right Livelihood Award Foundation oftens calls its distinction the "alternative Nobel prize."(20120927)


Samar was reappointed Chairwoman AIHRC through issuing a decret for annother five years. (20130619)

UN secretary general Antonio Guterres has appointed Sima Samar – Chairperson of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission – to his High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation. Samar has been appointed along with Juan Gabriel Valdés to the secretary general’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation.(20190118)

fghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHCR) head Sima Samar has been ousted from her post which she held for 18 years.(20190717)

2021 she migrated to the USA, short befor Taliban takeover in August 2021.

She has married twice and has two grown up children.

She speaks Dari and English.


Last Modified 2022-11-10
Established 2009-10-11