Tag Archives: Afghanistan

Afghan lawyers and judges in danger


Today, January 24, marks the Day of the Endangered Lawyer. As a Canadian lawyer I want to draw attention to the challenges facing some members of the legal profession in Afghanistan. Since the Taliban government assumed power in the country more than a year ago, the risk of retaliation and danger have only increased for many lawyers and judges, particularly women, advocates say.

For Nasrin (whose name has been changed to protect her identity), leaving Afghanistan was the last resort.

She had spent decades developing pioneering legislation and policies as a judge and legal advocate. When the Taliban took over in August 2021, everything changed. Facing death threats, she ultimately left. “I didn’t have any choice,” she told me. “I left my country, my house.” Now she and other legal activists are warning about the ever-increasing risks that lawyers and judges in the country still face and the need for countries like Canada to step up their efforts to help at-risk Afghans.

“If a woman wants to be a leader, like head of a court … it’s a very big position, but it is very dangerous,” Nasrin says.

Judges like Nasrin, as well as prosecutors, have been threatened with reprisals from the people they tried and the Taliban themselves. She is in contact with colleagues in the legal profession who remain in Afghanistan, and says the situation is worse than a year ago, as lawyers and judges fear for their safety.

“The first line is judges, the second line is defence lawyers and prosecutors … they are searching to find them,” she says.

The development of the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association (AIBA) in 2008 was part of a broader effort to build a non-governmental body that would regulate the legal profession and provide resources to support lawyers and access to legal services. But in November 2021, it was dismantled by armed Taliban soldiers and the Ministry of Justice gained possession of the AIBA’s database, containing contact information of members. The organization is now relaunching itself in exile, from Brussels.




International Day Of The Endangered Lawyer: “We Strongly And Unequivocally Condemn The Repressive Tendencies Of The Taliban Government In Afghanistan Towards Lawyers”- Maikyau


https://charidy.com/AfghanWomen (PLEASE CONTRIBUTE!)









https://www.darivoa.com/amp/lawyers-in-Afghanistan-face-threats/6933046.html (DARI)

https://www.pashtovoa.com/a/us-special-envoy-for-afghan-women-says-will-stand-with-afghan-lawyers/6933080.html (PASHTO)

https://www.lextimes.fr/actualites/avocats-en-danger/treizieme-edition-consacree-lafghanistan (FRANCAIS)




Afghanistan: DAY OF THE ENDANGERED LAWYER – 24 January 2023


The FBE supports all those in danger in Afghanistan.  Since the capture of Kabul by the Taliban in 2021, the situation of lawyers, judges, and prosecutors in Afghanistan has worsened. Many were left stranded when Government evacuation efforts ended. The international  legal community campaigns to persuade governments to rescue legal professionals at risk. However, most governments evacuated their own nationals and those who had been employed by the respective Government or related bodies. Most Afghan legal professionals did not fall into either category, even though they had served those Governments’ interests by upholding the rule of law in their country. Many were actively involved in the prosecution of members of the Taliban and  are in great danger. The international legal community must act now to persuade more assistance to evacuate lawyers, prosecutors, judges and legal professionals at risk and to offer safe havens in their respective countries.

The FBE endorses the report of the Coalition for the Day of the Endangered Lawyer and urges all to implement recommendations in particular:

  • The international community, in their diplomatic efforts toward the de facto authorities in Afghanistan, are urged to ensure the maintenance of a free and independent legal profession, in order to safeguard fundamental rights, including women’s rights, the independence and integrity of the administration of justice, and the rule of law.
  • The international community is urged to take all necessary measures to ensure that the lawyers at risk who remain in Afghanistan can safely leave the country. In particular:
  • To immediately implement evacuation and resettlement programmes for Afghan lawyers remaining in Afghanistan or located in neighboring countries.
  • To ensure respect for the principle of non-refoulement at all times.
  • To make humanitarian visas available to enable Afghan lawyers in need to access international protection legally and safely.
  • To ensure that all States suspend deportations and summary returns of Afghan nationals to Afghanistan or third states.
  •  To ensure that all States thoroughly investigate allegations of ill-treatment of Afghan nationals, especially in the States’ border regions and in removal centers in their territories.







https://2k86.mj.am/nl3/9MUI9jpjAKJgvmFwBU6sEA (FRANCAIS)

London: a Human Rights Solidarity and Arrested Lawyers Initiative action

Brussels (Facebook, CCBE – Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe )

Day of the Endangered Lawyer 24th January 2023 13th edition – AFGHANISTAN


The 24th of January marks the annual International Day of the Endangered Lawyer. On 24 January 1977, 4 lawyers and a co-worker were murdered in Madrid. Since 2010, this date is remembered as The Day of the Endangered Lawyer with the purpose of increasing awareness about lawyers across the globe who are being harassed, silenced, pressured, threatened, persecuted and tortured because of their profession.

The 2023 edition aims to shed some light on the challenges faced by lawyers in Afghanistan.

The fall of the Taliban regime in November 2001 prompted the reconstruction, reform and modernisation of the war-torn Afghan judicial system and the legal profession. In 2008, the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association (“AIBA”) was established. The AIBA administered the licensing and regulation of lawyers, promoted excellence and equal opportunity in the legal profession, trained future lawyers, and advanced the rule of law and social justice.

When the Afghan government fell in August 2021, two decades of progress were erased and the country’s judicial system collapsed. In November 2021, the Taliban’s Ministry of Justice issued a decree depriving the AIBA of its independence and its authority to grant licences to lawyers. Taliban forces started targeting lawyers who had previously worked on “sensitive” cases (e.g., cases involving the defence of human rights, including women’s rights, and other similar matters).

According to the AIBA, 7 lawyers have been killed since the dissolution of AIBA and 146 lawyers have been arrested or investigated.









https://www.camerepenali.it/cat/11783/giornata_internazionale_dellavvocato_minacciato_2023_24012023_-_focus_sull_afghanistan.html (ITALIANO)

https://www.cba.org/News-Media/Press-Releases/2023/Statement-from-the-CBA-President-Steeves-Bujold-on (FRANCAIS)

Afghanistan: International Day of the Endangered Lawyer 2023


The 24th of January has been designated as the annual International Day of the Endangered Lawyer in memory of the “Massacre of Atocha” occurred this day in 1977 when four lawyers and a co-worker were murdered and four others were heavily injured at their address at Calle Atocha 55 in Madrid.  

The purpose of this International Day is to draw 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. 

This year, the International Day of the Endangered Lawyer focuses on Afghanistan. 

The Coalition for the Day of the Endangered Lawyer has prepared a report about the justice system in Afghanistan, describing the extremely dire situation confronting Afghan lawyers today. 

The European Young Bar Associations, as part of the Coalition, strongly supports the recommendations provided in the Report addressed to the de facto authorities in Afghanistan, the international community, the European Union and its Member States, in order to improve the situation of Afghan lawyers in Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world. 

In addition to the limitations on fundamental human rights and reprisals against lawyers, judges and prosecutors that should be condemned, as an association representing young lawyers, the EYBA express its concern especially for the limitations to education and access to the legal profession imposed by the Taliban’s Ministry of Justice which affect the new generations, more than others. 

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” (M.L.K).

Click here to download the full report:

Final version of the Report -Day of the Endangered Lawyer 2023- 2 (1)

Click to access 202301-stm-sr-ijl-sr-afghanistan-day-endangered-lawyer.pdf





https://www.bbc.com/persian/live/afghanistan-64329705 (DARI)

https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2023/01/international-day-endangered-lawyer-24-january-2023 (FRANCAIS)





https://www.abogacia.es/fr/actualidad/noticias/el-abogado-afgano-hossain-haydari-llega-a-espana-gracias-al-apoyo-de-la-fundacion-abogacia/ (ESPANOL)


Afghanistan: Male judges and prosecutors left behind in ‘forgotten crisis’


The Taliban’s increasingly draconian policies in Afghanistan, the return to Sharia law and attacks on women’s rights have rightly drawn the world’s attention. However, almost 18 months after the Taliban seized power, there are growing calls to ensure that Afghan men, including those working in the legal profession, are also safe from harm.

Imogen Canavan, a Legal Consultant at the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law, has worked closely with the IBA and the International Association of Women Judges to evacuate vulnerable Afghans since August 2021. As part of these efforts, hundreds of female judges deemed to be at risk were evacuated alongside their families and have since been resettled in Canada, Australia, Germany, the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and Iceland.

While Canavan says these efforts are to be hugely commended, she’s increasingly concerned for the safety of male judges in Afghanistan who are now being forced to impose Sharia Law. ‘One of the focuses for me as a consequence of this work has been the male judges, because I feel like they’re a much bigger group,’ she says. ‘There are about 200 female judges, but there are about 2,000 male judges. What we see in terms of security risks for them is mostly kidnappings of the eldest son. They usually want the judge to present themselves to the Taliban in exchange for the son. Then often we anticipate that this would be likely to result in killing or certainly torture. There’s extortion as well.’

Safiya was an Afghan national working in the UK last August when the Taliban seized Kabul. Though she had no previous links to the legal profession, she, like Canavan, found herself fully immersed in the evacuation efforts. Safiya has watched in horror at how women have been steadily removed from nearly all areas of public life in Afghanistan, but says many male judges could be even more at risk than their female counterparts. ‘A lot of very well-known male judges were left behind,’ she says. ‘That’s the thing that upset me the most because all these men at the top of their field were getting in touch with me, but there was no evacuation mechanism for them. They’re the ones that are most in need now.’

Canavan says it was also a mistake that prosecutors weren’t deemed at risk enough to be evacuated by governments and humanitarian organisations in the wake of the Taliban takeover. ‘They are being attacked with knives and guns and their homes are being burnt down,’ she says. ‘Like legal academics, this group has not been prioritised, has been left behind and nobody’s thinking about them.’



Click to access ILAC_Afghanistan_Report_2023-2.pdf




https://news.un.org/fr/story/2023/01/1131517 (FRANCAIS)


Afghanistan: Day of the Endangered Lawyer 2023


Every year on the 24th of January, the International Day of the Lawyer in Danger mobilises the international community on the difficulties and threats to the practice of law. The situation of lawyers in Afghanistan was chosen for the year 2023. Lawyers have been targeted since the Taliban government took power on 15th of August 2021.

The impossibility or even the prohibition for women to practice their profession and the obligation for men to obtain a new licence under the control of the terrible Taliban Ministry of Justice, undermine the free exercise of lawyers’ profession. Not to mention the dramatic deterioration of the rule of law, jeopardising the lives of thousands of Afghans, including many lawyers, forced to flee or hide in the country.

On the occasion of this international day, the OIAD is organising a conference on the 20th of January 2023 in Lyon entitled “The defence of defence in times of crisis”, which will provide an opportunity to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, but also in Ukraine and Iran.


Join us, in person or online, for this mobilisation day. The debates will be fully translated into English, French, Spanish and Italian.

We also invite you to participate in the OIAD’s workshops.

Consult the agenda for the 20th of January 2023 HERE.

Link to register for the conference: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_5s45W-_oQtaFBkzQkAR9vg


2023: Afghanistan






https://protect-lawyers.org/2022-afghanistan/ (FRANCAIS)








https://protect-lawyers.org/it/2022-afghanistan-3/ (ITALIANO)

https://protect-lawyers.org/de/2022-afghanistan-4/ (DEUTSCH)



Afghanistan/USA: National Association of Women Judges Webinar: International Day of Endangered Lawyers


January 24, 2023
12:15 PM EST / 11:15 AM CST / 10:15 AM MST / 9:15 AM PST / 18:15 CET

International Day of Endangered Lawyers

Escape from Kabul – and Those Left Behind:

The Harrowing “Life-or-Death” Saga of Afghan Women Judges and What the Future Holds 

Join NAWJ and IAWJ as we mark the “International Day of the Endangered Lawyer” – January 24 – by celebrating the “sisterhood” of courageous and inspiring women judges worldwide who are continuing to fight for the women and girls – and the future – of Afghanistan.


As Afghanistan fell in mid-August 2021, the Taliban were out for blood. Among those at greatest risk for reprisals were the country’s 270+ women judges, who are the antithesis of all that the Taliban stands for. The women judges are in the greatest danger, because the Taliban flung open the doors to prisons across Afghanistan as they seized control of one province after another, leaving convicts free to carry out their vendettas against the judges who put them behind bars.

But the Afghan women judges were not alone. The members of the International Association of Women Judges (“IAWJ”) have long had close ties to their Afghan “sisters-in-law.” Seeing the writing on the wall, the IAWJ leapt into action. Within hours, an ad hoc band of women judges around the world had mobilized and were working in concert to do what U.S. authorities seemingly could not or would not do – to seek to rescue their Afghan colleagues. The IAWJ’s efforts have been nothing short of Herculean and heroic – with the stakes (quite literally) “life-or-death.”

Bleary-eyed and hunched over their computers 24/7, for weeks on end, with no prior experience in military logistics, a small, dedicated network of IAWJ members communicated with the Afghan women judges around the clock – from counseling them on passport and visas, negotiating to get their names (and their families’ names) on flight manifests, and guiding them from their hiding places to safe houses, to monitoring ever-changing “safe” routes to the airport and working with foreign armed forces to secure the passage of the women and their families past airport gates and safely onto flights, and providing support for them upon their arrival at their destinations (to say nothing of the efforts required to raise the requisite funding).

Since August 2021, 197 women judges have been evacuated from Afghanistan. They are now spread throughout the world in 33 countries, including 24 in the United States. The NAWJ, through International Director Lisa Walsh, has created mentor “teams” in the US communities where the Afghan judges are resettled. The goal is to assist the judges in assimilating, learning English, obtaining meaningful work, and, for some, reaccrediting themselves in the legal profession in the U.S.






http://hoqooq.eu/Payam-010123.pdf (DARI)




300 female judges in Afghanistan prior to Taliban capture, none now


Taliban rule in Afghanistan is brutally crushing women’s rights in the country. In August last year, right after capturing Afghanistan, the Talban had imposed restrictions on women’s education, employment, and travel, and had started changing the laws to imprison women inside their homes. To show the world, they took the support of clerics to implement their laws, and then imposed a ban on the women’s government and private sector jobs. To stop the women, the Taliban security forces intimidated women, arrested them, and even kidnapped them.

Khadija Ahmadi, Afghanistan’s women rights worker, said that the Taliban has stopped women from practicing as judges and lawyers in the courts. Prior to the Taliban’s capture of the country, there were around 300 women judges in Afghanistan, and due to the Taliban government, these women had to flee the country.

As per Khadija, the Taliban’s ways are serious as far as women’s social condition and psychological wellbeing is concerned, and the regime wants to establish women as second-class citizens in the country. Particularly, it wants young men and boys to become supremacists and women as objects of use for them and their homes. Because of the restrictions, thousands of families have fled to neighbouring countries like Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey, along with their women.

Pakistan is at the top of the list of countries where a large number of Afghan refugees reached during the last months. Many Afghan students are now studying in Pakistan.



















https://www.lalibre.be/international/asie/2022/12/21/bientot-les-talibans-diront-aux-femmes-quil-est-interdit-de-respirer-S7TA6KCYO5HW5FKTULHEZZDQOY/ (FRANCAIS)

Iran/Afghanistan: Des avocats belges se réunissent pour dénoncer la situation de l’accueil des réfugiés en Belgique


Les barreaux de Bruxelles, Charleroi, Dinant, Liège-Huy, Luxembourg, Mons, Namur, Tournai et Verviers ont manifesté devant le palais de justice de Bruxelles, lundi, dans le cadre de la journée des droits humains du 10 décembre.

Les avocats ont décidé de se rassembler pour soutenir les avocats iraniens et afghans ainsi que pour dénoncer la situation de l’accueil des réfugiés en Belgique, en particulier ceux originaires de ces deux pays.

Nous sommes face à une situation complètement inédite en droit belge. Nous avons des milliers de personnes qui viennent demander une protection internationale. Nous avons l’obligation de les accueillir et nous ne le faisons pas.” a affirmé le président de l’ONG Avocats sans frontières, Me Patrick Henry.


Les avocats se sont d’abord rassemblés à 12h00 à l’entrée du palais de justice de Bruxelles, où le bâtonnier de l’Ordre français du barreau de Bruxelles, Me Emmanuel Plasschaert et la bâtonnière du barreau de Charleroi, Me Nathalie Monforti se sont exprimés devant un rassemblement d’une centaine de personnes. L’accent était porté sur la situation des avocats, persécutés par les pouvoirs en place en Afghanistan et en Iran.

Les différents barreaux présents à la manifestation ont fait le choix de soutenir les ressortissants afghans, dont ils estiment que la situation ne fait que s’aggraver notamment depuis que les talibans ont repris le pouvoir en août 2021. Et également les ressortissants iraniens, dont ils estiment que les droits humains et libertés fondamentales sont bafoués. “Nous ne l’accepterons jamais et serons toujours du côté des oppressés” a affirmé Me Emmanuel Palschaaerts.

37 avocats emprisonnés en Iran

Me Nathalie Monforti a par la suite mentionné les noms de 37 avocats emprisonnés en Iran “simplement pour avoir exercé leur métier“.










https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/12/13/iran-death-sentences-against-protesters (ENGLISH)










https://iranhr.net/fa/articles/5631/ (FARSI)


Iran/Afghanistan/Belgium: Les barreaux dénoncent la manière dont les réfugiés sont accueillis en Belgique


Plusieurs barreaux de Belgique se sont mis d’accord pour organiser une manifestation à Bruxelles le lundi 12 décembre afin de dénoncer la manière dont les réfugiés sont accueillis.

Les barreaux de Bruxelles, Charleroi, Dinant, Liège-Huy, Luxembourg, Mons, Namur, Tournai et Verviers organiseront une manifestation à Bruxelles le lundi 12 décembre afin de dénoncer la manière dont les réfugiés – et en particulier les Afghans et les Iraniens – sont accueillis en Belgique, annoncent-ils jeudi.

Le rassemblement aura lieu à 12h place Poelaert, devant le Palais de Justice, dans le cadre de la journée dédiée aux droits humains le 10 décembre. Les avocats se rassembleront pour évoquer et dénoncer la situation des peuples afghan et iranien, et tout particulièrement des avocats persécutés par les pouvoirs en place. Deux bâtonniers prendront la parole avant que les manifestants ne rejoignent à pied les bureaux du Commissariat général aux réfugiés et apatrides.

La Convention de Genève

Une prise de parole sera organisée à 13h place Victor Horta, en face du CGRA, afin de rappeler la nécessité de protéger les demandeurs de protection internationale et de respecter la Convention de Genève relative au statut des réfugiés.

Les barreaux disent avoir conscience que ce combat pour les droits humains n’est pas le seul et que de nombreuses personnes sont discriminées et persécutées dans le monde. Ils expliquent cependant avoir fait le choix de soutenir particulièrement les ressortissants afghans, dont la situation ne cesse de s’aggraver depuis la prise de pouvoir des talibans en août 2021, et les ressortissants iraniens, dont les droits humains et les libertés fondamentales sont bafoués.

Une traduction résumée en farsi et dari sera d’ailleurs assurée sur les deux lieux de rassemblement.