Afghanistan: another defender killed by TalibansEvent
- Initial Date
- Aug 1, 2020
- Event Description
Afghanistan government must bring to justice perpetrators of the attack on Asmatullah Salaam a Civil Society Activist and Head of Local Council in Andar District of Ghazni Province.
Safety and Risk Mitigation Organization (SRMO) strongly condemns the killing of Mr Salaam and demand the Afghan government to bring the perpetrators to justice.
According to the report, Mr Salaam was travelling to visit his relatives during the second day of Eid (1st of August 2020) in Khwzeyo village in Andar District of Ghanzni Province, where Taliban stopped his car, kidnapped him and his body was recovered a day later on 2nd August in Wahghez District with severe sings of torture.
SRMO stresses the urgency for the protection of the Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) in Afghanistan as the organization has documented a worrying trend of increasing targeted attacks against the HRDs by Taliban across Afghanistan. This is a continuation of a series of violent attacks against human rights defenders including Women Human Rights Defenders, civil society activists and media workers which have been carried out with impunity. Despite the fact that the Afghanistan government launched the Human Rights Defenders Protection Strategy in January 2020, the government has failed g to investigate such crimes and bring the perpetrators to justice.
These attacks deliberately targeting the HRDs have a chilling effect on the wider community of human rights activists and civil society in Afghanistan who have already reported shrinking of their space to express opinion and hold the powerful to account.
Taliban announced ceasefire during the Eid in Afghanistan but it did not stop conducting deliberate and targeted attacks such as this incident, on Afghan HRDs, CSOs and other civilians. In the context of the upcoming peace talks between the Afghanistan Government and the Taliban, the role of civil society and HRDs is extremely vital as they bring the voice and speak out in defence of the rights and freedoms of Afghan society and victims, which is important to end the cycle of violence and reach a sustainable peace in Afghanistan. HRDs must never be targeted for simply carrying out their legitimate and peaceful work to promote and protect the human rights of Afghan people. The deliberate attack on HRDs in the context of the armed conflict constitutes a war crime.
SRMO is calling on Afghan government to do everything to protect Human Rights Defenders and Women Human Rights Defenders in Afghanistan and bring the perpetrators of such crimes to justice.
SRMO is also calling on Taliban to do everything to refrain its fighters from attacking HRDs, WHRDs, CSOs members and media workers in Afghanistan and punish the ones who are deliberately attacking, threatening and killing Afghan civilians including HRDs, WHRDs, CSOs members and media workers.
International and diplomatic community must put pressure on Afghan government to take the protection of Afghan HRDs seriously and bring the perpetrators of crimes against HRDs to justice.
In a previous attack on human rights defenders, Taliban targeted two staff members of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) in Kabul on 27 of June 2020; and on 3rd June 2020 Mr. Ibrahim Ebrat, a local civil society activist was killed in Qalat city of Zabul province. To date no investigation or arrests were made in connection to his killing despite promises by the government to do so.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- Violence (physical)
- Rights Concerned
- Right to life
- Community-based HRD
- Extremist group
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 1 August 2020, Asmatullah Salaam, community-based HRD, was kidnapped and killed by Tailbans in Andar District, Ghanzni Province, Afghanistan.