Human Rights and Protection of Lawyers | AFGHANISTAN

13th Day of the Endangered Lawyer: Focus on Afghanistan

The Day of the Endangered Lawyer (DEL) is an initiative aiming at drawing the attention of government officials, international institutions, civil society, the media and the general public to the plight of lawyers in a particular focus country, to raise awareness about the threats the lawyers in that country face in the exercise of their profession.

As a member of the coalition of bar associations, lawyers’ organisations and NGOs that supports the Day of the Endangered Lawyer (DEL), the UIA-IROL participated in the preparation of the joint comprehensive report of the 2023 DEL, which, this year, focuses on Afghanistan.

The 2023 report provides information about the dire situation of lawyers and the legal profession in Afghanistan, as well as that  of judges and prosecutors, all of whom have been targeted since the Taliban government gained control of the country  on August 15, 2021. Practicing male and female judges and prosecutors – but particularly women -- were removed from their positions, and  face serious and continuing threats on their lives.

The Afghanistan Independent Bar Association (AIBA) was forced to cease its operations in the country, and the legal profession was placed under the total control of the de facto Taliban Ministry of Justice. Women lawyers – who represented 25% of the legal profession before the takeover - are no longer authorized to practice their profession, and male lawyers are now forced to obtain a new license under a new qualification process established by the Ministry. Hundreds of legal practitioners felt compelled to flee the country or to begin living in hiding, together with their families, to attempt to evade the de facto authorities. According to reports, at least seven lawyers have been killed since the dissolution of AIBA and 146 lawyers have been arrested or investigated.

The report further contains demands and recommendations addressed both to the de facto authorities in Afghanistan and to the European Union and its Member States, together with the United States and the international community. The report was coordinated this year by the European Democratic Lawyers.

Learn more about the situation of our Afghan lawyers and legal professionals and support them!


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See also here the statement issued by the UN Special Rapporteurs on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan and the independence of judges and lawyers.