Declaration related to recent targeted killings of civil activists and HRDs
The Human Rights Defenders Committee argues that human rights activities in democratic societies are an accepted principle, as a large number of effective social forces over the past 18 years have advocated for the protection and restoration of human rights in the center and provinces. Their presence has paved the way for growth and promotion of human rights protection in society.
Unfortunately, the assassination of civil and human rights activists is drastically increasing lately. During the last two weeks a number of active members of civil society family including Yusuf Rashid, Freshta Kohistani, Bismillah Adil Aimaq and Abid jahid have been assassinated by terrorists who are yet to be identified. Afghanistan Human Rights Defenders Committee is deeply concerned about escalating target killings and condemns it.
Losing human rights defenders is painful, and more painful than that is the negligence of government and security officials against safety and security of human rights defenders.
Recent Facebook posts of Freshta Kohistani and Bismillah Adil Aimaq prior to the incidents clearly supports this claim. They (Kohistani and Aimaq) asked government for support in order to mitigate the risks, but government in particular local officials did not take their demands serious. Human rights defenders is not satisfied at all with the actions of government and security officials in response to protection and safety of human rights defenders. This committee believes that ignorance of complains from civil and human rights activists and absence of protective measure for their safety has brought about a conducive ground for their omission and curtailed the space for their activities.
Human Rights Defenders Committee asks government, united nation and its human rights council and international organizations to:
1. The Government of Afghanistan should find the hidden and mysterious hands behind the murders and target killings, and bring the perpetrators of these heinous crimes to justice as soon as possible.
2. The Government of Afghanistan should take the threats against the human rights defenders serious and take practical and serious measures to protect and safeguard them.
3. Local governments and the security officials who have acted with negligence against the safety and protection of human rights defenders, should be questioned and they should be told about their duties and responsibilities
The Afghanistan Human Rights Defenders Committee consists of more than forty-eight human rights organizations and is represented by the Independent Human Rights Commission, the European Union and the UNAMA Human Rights Section as observer members.