Afghanistan dispatches: UN says ‘The safety of Afghan judges, prosecutors, and lawyers – particularly women legal professionals – is a matter for particular alarm.’
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Afghanistan dispatches: UN says ‘The safety of Afghan judges, prosecutors, and lawyers – particularly women legal professionals – is a matter for particular alarm.’

Law students and lawyers in Afghanistan are filing reports with JURIST on the situation there after the Taliban takeover. Here, a Staff Correspondent for JURIST in Kabul comments on Tuesday’s report on the human rights situation in Afghanistan by the UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, speaking to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. For privacy and security reasons, we are withholding our Correspondent’s name. The text has been only lightly edited to respect the author’s voice.

According to the UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, over 100 alleged executions of former Afghan national security forces and others associated with the former Government have occurred in Afghanistan since the Taliban took control, with 72 attributable to the Taliban. Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Neda al-Nashif also said at a UN Human Rights Council meeting on Afghanistan held in Geneva Tuesday that the Taliban-led government had imposed “restrictions on the basic rights of women and girls” and committed “targeted killings.”

She went on: 

“The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has documented 59 apparently arbitrary detentions, beatings, and threats of civil society activists, journalists, and staff of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission attributed to the de facto authorities. Several women’s rights defenders have been threatened, and there is widespread fear of reprisals since the violent crackdown on women’s peaceful protests in September. In some instances, relatives and family members of civil society actors, and human rights defenders have faced threats and intimidation. Many media outlets have shut down and numerous civil society groups have also closed.

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission has been unable to operate since August, and the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association faces a loss of independence following the de facto authorities’ decision to administer its activities under thede factoministry of justice.

The safety of Afghan judges, prosecutors, and lawyers – particularly women legal professionals – is a matter for particular alarm. Many are currently in hiding for fear of retribution, including from convicted prisoners who were freed by thede factoauthorities, notably men convicted of gender-based violence.”

Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s ambassador to Geneva, Nasir Ahmad Andisheh, said the country had suffered a setback and that reports of “tribal cleansing” had been published in several Afghan provinces.

The Taliban-led government has yet to respond to the accusations.