Latest Statement from the law society on afganistan
No one can have failed to have been affected by the recent events that have been occuring in Afganistan . As we have all watched the scenes on our screens our concerns have quickly turned to those who may be at risk following the new regime taking control of the country .
For the Legal Profession we are particularly concerned with those who have been working in the justice system who may be disproportionatily at risk .
Law Society of England and Wales president I. Stephanie Boyce said:
“The situation of legal professionals and those working in the Afghan justice system more generally is increasingly a cause for alarm. We are particularly concerned about the approximately 270 women judges and 170 women lawyers, who are especially likely to be at risk.
“Legal professionals in Afghanistan have made invaluable contributions by promoting the rule of law and safeguarding fundamental freedoms. They deserve our utmost respect and support.
“The UK government’s new Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme is welcomed, but we are concerned that the target to offer sanctuary in the UK to Afghans in the first year of the scheme will be insufficient to protect all those in imminent danger. We call on the government to ensure the scheme moves at a faster pace.”
On 23 August, the law society joined G7 Bar leaders in urging governments to protect those at risk including human rights defenders, in particular female judges and lawyers in Afghanistan ahead of the G7 meeting on 24 August.
Together with the Bar Council and Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales, we’re worried about the situation of at least 250 women judges in the country who we consider to be at particular risk.
We urge the UK government not to abandon these courageous defenders of the rule of law.
Additionally, in liaison with its international allies, we urge the UK government to offer evacuation, safety and asylum in the UK to:
- the women judges
- their families, and
- other members of the Afghan legal profession who are in danger
In January 2021, two female judges working for the Afghan Supreme Court were murdered.
See The Joint Statement with the Bar
We can only pray for the safety of everyone in Afganistan now and hope the regime will keep to some of the statements it has recently made .