Afghanistan: ‘Shocking’ situation raises grave concerns for safety of judges and legal profession

The last US military aircraft departed from Kabul airport on 30 August, marking an agonising end to a dramatic two weeks that saw Taliban fighters effortlessly topple the Afghan government and President Ashraf Ghani forced to flee the country. As the Taliban returns to power 20 years after the regime was ousted by US forces, the rule of law and the safety of the legal profession is once again seriously under threat.

The speed of the Taliban takeover left armed forces, governments and the international community scrambling to evacuate civilians before the 31 August deadline imposed by Taliban leaders. Rescue efforts were severely hampered by security concerns. As thousands waited to be evacuated at Kabul airport on 26 August, a blast killed more than 170 people, including 13 US military personnel and other foreign nationals. Islamic State has since claimed responsibility for the attack.

‘It’s shocking that we find ourselves in this situation,’ Lord Peter Goldsmith QC, who served as the UK’s Attorney General from 2001–2007, told Global Insight. ‘It’s crazy that we weren’t better prepared for this. We will have to look at where the responsibility lies, but the problem is that this is not about political posturing. This is about people’s lives. For people who’ve done tremendous things that we and the IBA very rightly stand for – the rule of law, justice and a fair society – it’s shocking that some of them are being left in this situation.’

Published on 01-09-21. Please read on here

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