The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) [official website] on Monday condemned [press release] Sunday’s suicide attack targeting a bus carrying civilian passengers working for the Attorney General’s office. The attack killed five prosecutors and injured 19 people. The Taliban claimed responsibility, making this their twelfth attack in 2015 against legal professionals, killing a total of about 114 civilians. UNAMA stated that Afghanistan and the Taliban are bound by international humanitarian law, which forbids all attacks on civilians.
Afghanistan has been the target of much criticism regarding human rights issues. Last month UNAMA reported an increase in civilian casualties [JURIST report] from ground engagements in Afghanistan compared to the same time last year, with indications that the number will continue to rise in the coming months. Amnesty International [advocacy website] reported last month that Afghanistan women’s rights activists are facing increased violence [JURIST report] and a lack of governmental support. UNAMA announced in February that Afghanistan has made “some progress” [JURIST report] toward preventing the torture of government detainees. Also in February UNAMA released a report indicating a 22 percent increase in civilian causalities [JURIST report] in 2014, making 2014 the deadliest year in Afghanistan since 2009. In November the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women called on the government of Afghanistan [JURIST report] and the international community to adopt sustainable measures to address violence against women in the country. UNAMA and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights [official website] released a study last February that raised concern over the treatment of women [JURIST report] in the country.