Posts Tagged ‘Taliban’

Afghan lawyer Freshta Karimi wins Ludovic-Trarieux Human Rights Prize

September 30, 2021

Freshta Karimi, 38, the founder of the Da Qanoon Ghushtonky (DQG) organisation, one of the largest suppliers of legal aid in Afghanistan, won the Ludovic-Trarieux International Human Rights Prize 2021, awarded by jurists to their peers.

Her organisation works in particular on upholding the rights of woman and children in Afghanistan and she has regularly represented it abroad in recent years.

Since the Taliban seized power last month however, she has kept a lower profile, lawyer Bertrand Favreau, the founder of the prize and chairman of its jury, told AFP.

“For at least five years, she has received threats from the Taliban in all the cities where she has tried to open an office to inform women of their rights,” he said.

That had not stopped her continuing her outreach work however, travelling to even the most remote villages, he added. “Today she is one of the most threatened lawyers in the world.”

Last year, the prize was awarded to two Turkish lawyers, sisters Barkin and Ebru Timtik. Ebru had died the previous month after a 238-day hunger strike to protest her imprisonment on terror-related accusations. Barkin is serving a lengthy sentence on similar charges. see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2020/09/26/timtik-sisters-in-turkey-share-2020-ludovic-trarieux-prize/

The Ludovic Trarieux Award is an annual prize which recognises lawyers of any nationality who have sought to defend human rights, often at great risk to themselves. The award was named after Trarieux, who in 1898 founded France’s Human Rights League (LDH). For more on this and other awards for jurists, see: https://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/awards/7C413DBA-E6F6-425A-AF9E-E49AE17D7921.

https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/35372/afghan-womens-rights-campaigner-wins-top-human-rights-prize

Protect cultural human rights defenders in Afghanistan, says UN rights expert

August 23, 2021

While understandably all eyes are on the risks faced by those who are in the first line of sight of the Taliban such as human rights activist and women human rights defenders, a piece in India Blooms of 19 August 2021 about the “cultural disaster”, that may follow the fall of Kabul, is worth noting. The UN Special Rapporteur Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Karima Bennoune, urged countries to provide urgent assistance to human rights defenders, including those working on women’s and cultural rights, as well as artists, trying to flee the country.

It is deplorable that the world has abandoned Afghanistan to a fundamentalist group like the Taliban whose catastrophic human rights record, including practice of gender apartheid, use of cruel punishments and systematic destruction of cultural heritage, when in power, is well documented,” she said.

The independent rights expert called for all forms of culture and cultural heritage to be protected, as well as those who defend it, and implored cultural and educational institutions everywhere to extend invitations to Afghan artists, cultural workers and students, especially women and members of minorities, to enable them to continue their work in safety.

It is not enough for foreign governments to secure the safety of their own nationals”, said Ms. Bennoune. “They have a legal and moral obligation to act to protect the rights of Afghans, including the rights to access to education and to work, without discrimination, as well as the right of everyone to take part in cultural life.”

The Special Rapporteur said she was gravely concerned at reports of gross abuses by the Taliban, including attacks on minorities, the kidnapping of a woman human rights defender, the killing of an artist, and the exclusion of women from employment and education.

Bennoune recalled that the Taliban’s own cultural officials in 2001 had attacked the country’s national museum, destroying thousands of the most important pieces, as well as banning many cultural practices, including music. 

Afghan cultural rights defenders have worked tirelessly and at great risk since then to reconstruct and protect this heritage, as well as to create new culture. Afghan cultures are rich, dynamic and syncretic and entirely at odds with the harsh worldview of the Taliban,” she said. 

Governments which think that they can live with ‘Pax Taliban’ will find that this is grave error that destroys Afghan lives, rights and cultures, and eviscerates important advances that had been made in culture and education in the last two decades with international support and through tireless local efforts.” 

Bennoune said such a policy will harm Afghans most but will also set back the struggle against fundamentalism and extremism, and their harmful effects on cultures, everywhere in the world, threatening the rights and security of all.

See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2019/12/27/expert-meeting-on-cultural-rights-defenders/

https://www.indiablooms.com/world-details/SA/30852/protect-human-rights-defenders-in-afghanistan-says-un-rights-expert.html

Car bomb kills two human rights workers in Afghanistan

June 30, 2020

Two employees of Afghanistan’s human rights body were killed in a bomb attack in Kabul on Saturday, Agence France-Presse said on 27 June 2020.

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission said the pair died when a homemade ‘sticky bomb’ attached to their vehicle exploded in the morning. Kabul police spokesman Ferdaws Faramurz confirmed the attack, which has not been claimed by any group.

There can be no justification for attacks against human rights defenders,’ United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said on Twitter, calling for an immediate probe.

One of the victims was twenty-four-year-old Fatima Khalil, known as Natasha, was a shining example of young, progressive Afghanistan. Born a refugee in Quetta, Pakistan, she won a U.S. Embassy scholarship to study human rights at an American university in Kyrgyzstan. She spoke six languages, was a straight-A student, loved dancing and could have worked overseas like many educated Afghans to escape her country’s constant conflict, according to her family. Instead, she decided to move to Kabul last year to work as a donor coordinator for the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission. https://news.trust.org/item/20200630144519-wd9kl/

It comes less than a week after two prosecutors and three other employees from the attorney general’s office were shot dead by gunmen on the outskirts of Kabul. On May 30, a television journalist was killed when a minibus carrying employees of private television channel Khurshid TV was hit by a roadside bomb in the city. That attack was claimed by the Islamic State group.

Violence had dropped across much of the country after the Taliban offered a brief ceasefire to mark the Eid al-Fitr festival last month, but officials say the insurgents have stepped up attacks in recent weeks.

http://www.businessworld.in/article/Two-staffers-of-human-rights-organisation-killed-in-Kabul/27-06-2020-291770/

https://www.newagebd.net/article/109619/bomb-kills-2-rights-workers-in-kabul

Afghan women human rights defenders in the picture today

February 11, 2014

Human rights of women in Afghanistan were at the forefront of the international agenda after the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Thirteen years later, nine Afghan women human rights defenders working at the front line reflect on the progress that has been made over the last years, as well as on the risks they have faced because of their work. Today, new challenges arise, as the lack of commitment at national and international level endangers past achievements and the continuation of progress in the near future. Dublin-based Frontline Defenders published the following video in 2 parts:Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - cropped

part 1:

part 2:

Euro MPs of the Green group nominate Snowden for Sakharov Prize 2013

October 1, 2013

The Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought is given by the European Parliament annually since 1988. Previous recipients include Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi. Among the nominees for this year are Malala Yousufzai, the Pakistani girl shot in the head by the Taliban last year,…and – this was to be expected since the controversy broke – the US whistleblower Edward Snowden. He was nominated on Monday by the Green group in the European Parliament. His nomination is in recognition of his “enormous service” to human rights and to the European citizens, the Green group said. The winner of the 50,000-Euro prize will be announced on October 10 and is awarded in Strasbourg on November 20. [On August 30, Snowden received the biennial Whistle Blower Award 2013 in Germany, in recognition of his “bold efforts” to expose the monitoring of communications data by his former employer.}

Euro MPs nominate Snowden for rights prize – Europe – Al Jazeera English.

Malala Yousafzai and Harry Belafonte receive top Amnesty award in Dublin

September 18, 2013
On 17 September 2013 Pakistani education rights activist, Malala Yousafzai, who was shot and almost killed by the Taliban, received the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience award  in Dublin. “I want to live in a world where free, Read the rest of this entry »

Pakistan ‘gone mad’ says regional human rights organisation after murder of Perveen Rehman

March 14, 2013

Ms. Perveen Rehman (56), worked for the betterment of the poor and neglected

A statement of 14 March 2013 by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) starts dramatically with this “When a small lady weighing hardly 60 kilograms working for the betterment of poor slum-dwellers, and amongst the under-privileged in poorer residential areas, is viewed as a dire threat to the Taliban and the local administration, the sanity of these institutions, and those that man them, is called into question. However, with yesterday’s murder of Ms. Perveen Rehman, an even more fundamental question confronts us: the raison d’être of the Pakistani state itself.”

Ms. Perveen Rehman, an architect by profession, was targeted and murdered in broad daylight yesterday, March 13th. Fifty-six years of age, having worked for the poor and underprivileged for 25 of them, Ms. Rehman was murdered close to her office as she arrived in a car. Armed men riding two motorcycles approached and opened fire on her. She was struck twice in the face and once in the neck. She was rushed to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where she succumbed to her wounds. It is believed that she was assassinated by Deobandi militants of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamat (ASWJ). These are said to be the same militants responsible for the deaths of the four anti-polio workers and the attack on Malala Yusufzai.

The statement then continues to describe Ms. Rehman as a tireless social activist, working for people living in slum areas. She had, however, been receiving death threats for some time. Read the rest of this entry »