Tag Archives: United Kingdom

Afghanistan Bar Association head pleads for international help as armed Taliban take over offices, displace leadership


Afghanistan bar association head pleads for international help as armed Taliban take over offices, displace leadership

The President of the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association, Rohullah Qarizada, went on Twitter Wednesday appealing for international assistance after armed Taliban took over the Association’s offices in Kabul. He said “fifty armed Taliban came in AIBA and forcibly took over Bar.” The incursion occurred Tuesday in the wake of a Taliban cabinet directive authorizing the Ministry of Justice to strip the AIBA of its lawyer licensing authority and vest that instead in the Ministry. 

Commenting on the takeover of the AIBA office, Qarizada insisted: “The bar is independent, non-governmental, and non-political. The Bar did not receive any funding from the government.”

A JURIST correspondent in Kabul says a Ministry of Justice letter to the AIBA shown in Qarizada’s tweet refers to the Taliban Cabinet Decision No. 10 dated November 14, 2021. According to the letter the Ministry of Justice should regulate affairs related to the AIBA, especially the issuing of licenses. Our correspondent adds: “But the Cabinet decision does not state anything regarding the structure of AIBA. The Ministry interpreted the decision as authorizing it to bring AIBA under its structure and requested lawyers to obtain licenses from them. The person appointed as the new AIBA head is said to be part of the Ministry of Justice but has no relevant experience.”

The Afghanistan Independent Bar Association was formed in 2008 with the assistance of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) and previously received support from USAID. At last count, before the Taliban takeover, the Association had more than 2,500 registered lawyers practicing in the Afghan courts. According to the IBAHRI, the AIBA is “the only bar association in the world to have a quota for women on all executive committees and at least one vice-president must be a woman.” At this time it is uncertain what impact AIBA “nationalization” will have on women in the Association’s leadership or member ranks.






https://www.onufemmes.fr/urgence-afghanistan (FRANCAIS)



UK: Home Office urged to help ‘abandoned’ Afghan judges and lawyers


he Law Society says it is continuing to receive ‘desperate messages’ from judges and lawyers in Afghanistan and is urging the Home Office to open a new resettlement scheme immediately.

Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said: ‘We have received scores of desperate messages from people who dedicated their lives to building Afghanistan’s justice system and upholding the rule of law and are now in hiding with their families.

‘Judges, lawyers, prosecutors and others who worked in the justice system tell us they are receiving death threats from the Taliban and prisoners they helped convict – many of them terrorists – who are now roaming the country seeking revenge on those who brought them to justice.

‘Our Afghan colleagues are terrified, without work or money, and moving with their families from hiding place to hiding place in fear for their lives. These champions of justice tell us they feel abandoned by the international community, including the UK, with which they worked with so closely to establish law and order in pre-Taliban Afghanistan.’

The Society has been working closely with the government and international partners to assist in evacuating lawyers at risk. However, Boyce said it was unacceptable that the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme was still not open more than three months after Kabul fell.

‘Judges, lawyers, and prosecutors must be eligible for resettlement under this scheme and considered within the first 5,000 to be granted indefinite leave to remain under it,’ she added.

A government spokesperson said: ‘We undertook the UK’s biggest and fastest emergency evacuation in recent history, helping over 15,000 people to safety from Afghanistan who we are continuing to support. The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme is one of the most generous schemes in our country’s history and will give up to 20,000 further people at risk a new life in the UK. We continue to work at pace to open the scheme amid a complex and changing picture, working across government and with partners such as UNHCR to design the scheme.’

The Gazette understands that the scheme will not have an application process. Instead, like the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme, eligible people will be prioritised and referred for resettlement to the UK.






Greece Becomes Safe Haven for Dissident Afghan Women


https://www.gisti.org/spip.php?article6645 (FRANCAIS)

Afghanistan: Taliban justice ministry takes lawyer licensing control from Afghanistan Bar Association


Afghanistan dispatches: Taliban justice ministry takes defense lawyer licensing control from Afghanistan bar association

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 offers his observations on a Taliban move to take direct regulatory control of defense lawyer licensing, shifting that from the country’s bar association. 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.

The Taliban have changed the regulatory authority of the defense lawyers from the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association to the Ministry of Justice.

The Ministry of Justice of the Taliban announced yesterday that all defense lawyers and those who had a license from the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association should come to the Ministry of Justice for obtaining a license. Affairs related to the defense and licensed lawyers used to be regulated by the “Advocate Law” in the country. The Advocate Law provides that the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association shall issue licenses for the applicants. In Afghanistan, those who graduated from law and sharia are eligible for a license.

According to the Advocate Law, obtaining a license in Afghanistan is subject to an exam like other countries.

The Ministry of Justice has warned licensed lawyers and those who are applying to obtain a license to come to this ministry for the license, otherwise they will not be able to work as a defense lawyer.

Bringing the defense lawyers under the structure of the Ministry of Justice means that the Taliban are looking to further regulate this area in the country. The Ministry of Justice have not provided any information whether or not the Advocate Law will be amended and/or the procedures for issuing the license will be changed.

The Ministry of Justice already have the Legal Aid Directorate under its structure and that is meant to provide legal assistance for the people who cannot afford hiring a lawyer to represent them before the courts. Adding a new department to regulate affairs related to the defense lawyers from the Bar Association, in my opinion, will decrease the donor funds and international assistance to this entity.










‘Climate of fear’ prevails for human rights defenders in Afghanistan


In addition to a prolonged drought and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Afghanistan is contending with the upheaval caused by the current political transition.

Human rights defenders in Afghanistan report that they are now enduring a “climate of fear”, threats, and becoming increasingly desperate over conditions in the country, an independent UN expert said on Wednesday.  

Stating that “the threat is very real”, Mary Lawlor, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders, called for an urgent coordinated response from the international community. 

“Defenders tell me of direct threats, including gendered threats against women, of beatings, arrests, enforced disappearances, and of defenders being killed. They describe living in a climate of constant fear”, she said

Those most at risk are people documenting alleged war crimes, women, in particular criminal lawyers, cultural rights defenders, especially those working in banned sectors such as musical performance, and others from minority groups. 

Some told Mrs. Lawlor that they have erased their online data history to evade identification, and that the Taliban are using other ways to find them. One of them, for example, was identified by an injury to his leg. 

Urgent action 

According to her, the Taliban have raided offices of human rights and civil society organisations, searching for names, addresses and contacts.  

“Many defenders are well known in their local communities, in particular in rural areas, and have left for the anonymity of the cities, but even there, they are forced to constantly change locations,” the UN expert said. “Most have also lost their source of income, further limiting their options to find safety.” 

Mrs. Lawlor called for immediate international support, including an urgent plan for the evacuation of those at high risk, along with their families. 











Ireland: Appeal to legal profession to help Afghan arrivals


Appeal to legal profession to help Afghan arrivals

Professionals and organisations across the legal sector have been asked for pledges of support for their judicial and legal colleagues who have fled Afghanistan after the Taliban’s takeover of the country.

A number of organisations have come together to make the appeal, saying that female lawyers and judges have been particularly targeted since August, as the Taliban seeks to enforce its regime on those who played an active role in the Afghan state.

Retribution is being sought by the Taliban on those who were involved in previous judicial and legal matters,” the statement said.

The coalition of groups involved in the initiative includes the Law Society, The Association of Judges, Bar of Ireland, International Association of Women Judges, and Irish Rule of Law. The move is also being backed by Government, and agencies such as Red Cross and the Irish Refugee Protection Programme.

Community sponsorship

The organisations say that they have constructed a pathway for colleagues to provide help in the areas of housing, funding, and collegiate support, using the ‘community sponsorship’ model.

This involves colleagues in the receiving states effectively wrapping around arriving families who share a common profession. This model is currently in place in Ireland for journalists and professional athletes arriving here.

The coalition has issued a request for offers of appropriate accommodation for a period of 12 months, to cater for up to 11 families who are currently fleeing Afghanistan.







Afghanistan’s female lawyers are on the run from men they prosecuted



Until August, Farishta was an influential prosecutor who exercised her power for a cause. She prosecuted criminals, Taliban militants, corrupt bureaucrats, and men who beat women and children.

Today, 27-year-old Farishta is in hiding. Like a fugitive on the run, she changes her location often. For her safety, we have changed her name.

Originally from Afghanistan’s south-eastern Paktia province, Farishta was among those Afghan women who obtained professional success in the years after the Taliban was defeated, challenging the country’s male-dominated and ultra-conservative society.

Five years ago, under the previous government, she became a prosecutor in Afghanistan’s Attorney-General’s office. Part of her job was “prosecuting and getting sentences for those who committed rape, murder and domestic violence”, she told the BBC from a safe house in Afghanistan. It was a “challenging but satisfying job”, she said.

But as the Taliban swept across Afghanistan in recent months, before seizing the country, they freed prisoners along the way, including thousands of hardened criminals and Islamist militants.

Among those let go by the crusading Taliban was Mohamad Gol, who faced charges of planning suicide bomb attacks. Farishta had painstakingly gathered evidence against Gol and successfully prosecuted him, putting him behind bars for what should have been a 20-year sentence.

Days after the Taliban took over Kabul, Mohammed Gol called her, Farishta said. “He said he was coming after me to take revenge, and I cannot hide anywhere.”

Since then, she has been on the move. With no salary, she is finding it difficult to make ends meet. Farishta and her colleagues say the Taliban are opposed to women working as prosecutors and judges and they want to keep most women away from the workplace, as they did during their rule through the late 1990s.

Women like Farishta have good reason to be afraid. In January, two women judges of the Afghan Supreme Court were shot dead in Kabul – part of a wave of targeted killings widely blamed on the Taliban. And two legal officials who worked in the Afghan Justice Ministry have been killed in Kabul in recent weeks in what are believed to be revenge attacks.




https://www.infomigrants.net/prs/post/35382/%D9%81%D8%B1%D8%B4%D8%AA%D9%87-%DA%A9%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%85%DB%8C-%D9%88%DA%A9%DB%8C%D9%84-%D9%85%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%B9-%D9%88-%D9%81%D8%B9%D8%A7%D9%84-%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82-%D8%B2%D9%86%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%BA%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D9%86%D8%AF%D9%87-%D8%AC%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B2%D9%87-%D8%A8%DB%8C%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D9%84%D9%84%DB%8C-%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82-%D8%A8%D8%B4%D8%B1-%D8%B4%D8%AF (FARSI)

May be an image of text

Afghanistan’s women judges are in hiding, fearing reprisal attacks from men they jailed


Nabila is one of hundreds of women judges in Afghanistan who have been told they can no longer work.

Tugging at the folds of the traditional hijab dress, two young sisters jostle and laugh to try to get their mother’s attention as she fries onions on the stove.

Along with their 6-month-old sister, the girls are oblivious to the threat they now face from the Taliban, Afghanistan’s new rulers.

Their mother, Nabila, is one of 250 female judges ordered not to return to work by a regime that doesn’t condone women in senior positions. CNN is only using Nabila’s first name for her own protection.

Nabila said she feared reprisals, not only from fundamentalists, but also the men she once jailed. When they came to power, the Taliban opened the gates of prisons, releasing thousands of convicted criminals.

“Now we do not feel safe; the same criminals are going after my own life, the lives of my family,” Nabila said. “God forbid if they seek revenge.”

After the Taliban takeover in mid-August, a few dozen women judges fled Afghanistan, and those left behind are now in hiding, according to Judge Vanessa Ruiz from the US-based International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ).

All of the judges who worked under the former Afghan government — male and female — have been now replaced by Taliban appointees, two judges told CNN.

But Ruiz said women judges feared their gender made them particular targets for a regime that assigns greater value to men.

Many of the women judges presided over the worst cases of violence against women, including rape, murder and domestic abuse.”

They would be angry at any judge who sentenced them, but that a woman had official authority, and sat in judgment of a man, is rage of a completely different order,” said Ruiz.

The IAWJ and other organizations are racing to find a safe passage out for the women — but they say they need more help from the US and other Western nations, before it’s too late.










https://www.jss.fr/Afghanistan__les_acteurs_du_droit_mobilises-2587.awp (FRANCAIS)

Afghan lawyers’ plea to UK: save us from clutches of the Taliban


Lawyers who worked under the previous regime in Afghanistan have told the Gazette directly of the fear they are now living with on a daily basis.

Since the Taliban seizure of power last month following the US and UK withdrawal, law firms have fielded numerous enquiries from people keen to get out of the country.

The Gazette has been contacted by lawyers in Afghanistan and concerned relatives in the UK asking for help and advice. These will be passed to groups working to provide immigration advice.

One UK-based family highlighted the situation of their relatives Mohammed Rasooli, a law professor and former legal adviser to the Afghan presidents and Anisa Rasooli, a judge and nominated for the first woman member of the Afghan Supreme Court. Other family members who worked as a parliamentary reporter and prosecutor in the Ministry of Justice are also still in Afghanistan.

The individuals are currently in hiding since the Taliban takeover and their UK-based relatives said: ‘We are desperate to get some help for our families in Kabul. I have registered their details with the [Foreign Office] and have reached my local MP, but unfortunately we have not had any response yet.’

A prosecutor still living in Afghanistan contacted the Gazette to say he and his family had been living in hiding since the day the Taliban took over his local province. Even before the seizure of power, he had received death threats to his home following the prosecution of Taliban suspects, with the letters stating that no-one would be spared. The lawyer said he had seen reports that the UK government had decided to save people who were in danger and pleaded for help from ministers to save his and his family’s life.

The Law Society has said it is ‘gravely concerned’ about the situation in Afghanistan and the perilous future of those who worked in the justice system under the old regime. There has been particular fear for the 270 women judges and 170 women lawyers and prosecutors based in the country, many of whom were not able to be evacuated before the allied troops left.

The Society said there needs to be a rethinking of the travel and entry requirements for Afghan citizens seeking safety in the UK.






May be an image of ‎2 people, people standing, headscarf and ‎text that says "‎Without the presence and participation of women in the politics of the international community, the Taliban should not be recognized! امور در زنان فعال گیری وسهم حضور بدون نباید جهانی جامعه سیاست؛ و حکومتداری !بشناسد رسمیت به را طالبان‎"‎‎

Afghanistan/UK: Talks ongoing for securing evacuation of at-risk Afghan judge


Legal action on behalf of a female judge and female MP from Afghanistan has been put on hold while talks continue with ministers. 

Letters before action were served on the Treasury Solicitor on Tuesday, the government given a deadline to issue visas to the women that would allow them to cross the border to neighbouring countries. By today, proceedings were put on hold after positive discussions with the government.

A statement from the group of pro bono lawyers working on the case said: ‘Although the deadline we asked the government to work within has passed, we know they are now considering the case of the female MP and the female Judge. 

‘We remain optimistic about them giving these two ladies and their families visas and by doing so, discharging their moral and ethical responsibilities to them. This country would be greatly enriched by their presence.’

It is understood the judge and her close family, who are also at risk, were expecting to be called forward to board an evacuation flight out of Afghanistan, but this never happened.

Through the lawyers working on her behalf, she said: ‘Because of my work on women’s rights I have been threatened by a number of the Taliban, who have used violence against their wives. They said that when they would be released, they would destroy me. I am hiding with my family in terrible conditions. They are all in danger because they are part of my family. Already, one of my brothers has gone missing and we are very worried about him.’

Appearing before the foreign affairs select committee in parliament last week, foreign secretary Dominic Raab said the UK had evacuated nine judges believed to be at risk.





Click to access LAWASIA%20Statement%20of%20Concern%20Regarding%20the%20Safety%20of%20The%20Afghan%20Legal%20Community,%201%20September%202021.pdf





https://www.courrierinternational.com/article/ceux-qui-restent-sara-procureure-les-talibans-sont-contre-mon-identite-de-femme-qui (FRANCAIS)


https://oglobo.globo.com/mundo/juizas-tentam-fugir-do-afeganistao-nao-ser-alvo-dos-homens-que-colocaram-na-prisao-25183961 (PORTUGUES)

Afghanistan’s female judges desperate to flee death threats and retaliation


Afghans, hoping to leave Afghanistan, walk through the main entrance gate of Kabul airport in Kabul on August 28, 2021, following the Taliban stunning military takeover of Afghanistan.

“It was the most horrible experience I could ever have in my life. I experienced things I would never imagine seeing in my life.” — Afghan judge on trying to flee Kabul

Afghanistan’s female judges did what is anathema to the Taliban: They dared sit in judgment of men, holding them accountable for their actions and often sentencing them to long prison terms.

Death threats were frequent and, in January, despite the American troops’ presence, two women on the Supreme Court were assassinated.

Now, these fearless judges are being hunted by the Taliban and their fates have fallen mainly to international colleagues to sort out.

“It was the most horrible experience I could ever have in my life,” said one judge in describing her a harrowing escape from Kabul only a few days ago. “I experienced things I would never imagine seeing in my life.”

Of the 270 female justices, she was one of the lucky 20 who the International Association of Women Judges has rescued since the Taliban took control of the country, opened the jails, closed the courts and warned women to stay at home.

“We had some food and water but we ended up wandering from this gate to another for three days and two nights without food,” the judge said.

“Through this mayhem, we had to deal with gunfire all the time and the tear gas. That (tear gas) was the hardest thing for everyone. We couldn’t breath, we couldn’t see anything then with all of this (we) go this gate, other and another still not knowing if could go through or not or whether we could make it. We just kept going through the gates.”

The judge spoke Monday through a translator on the condition that no name be used, not her own or a pseudonym. She’s in hiding in an undisclosed country, waiting to find out where she and her family might be resettled.







May be an image of text