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Over 200 Afghan judges fear for their lives after criminals are released

Today the criminals are free and the judges flee

Darwin Nexans
5 min read

With its rise to power, the Taliban government ordered the release of thousands of imprisoned men, sentenced by women charged with administering justice.

Over 200 Afghan judges fear for their lives after criminals are released

More than 220 Afghan judges have been forced to flee their homes and live in hiding, in hiding, since the Taliban usurped power.

As the group occupied cities, they opened the dungeons and released all the incarcerated, including the same men the judges had sentenced.

Faced with these actions, hundreds of women who were in the magistracy were forced to flee from home, since many of them received death threats, in addition to being afraid of the reprisals that the Taliban could take.

Of those 220 women, about 26 managed to escape to Greece. However, the flight was not easy at all, as one of them commented, interviewed by the BBC, who asked not to be identified.

Over 200 Afghan judges fear for their lives after criminals are released

The judge said that she had to leave her home at midnight, since that had been agreed with the person who would help her escape with her two children. He said that his aides warned him of the dangers that could be found on the road, since the Taliban have alcabalas almost everywhere. Still, he accepted the risk.

This judge worked in a court, where she sentenced many criminals, for crimes such as rape, murder, robbery, abuse against women.

She asserts that the punishments she imposed were long and severe. But after they were all released, each of them told us, "We will kill them if we find them", the woman said.

After passing through different Taliban checkpoints, shelters and even the desert itself, the judge managed to reach an airport, from where, together with 25 other women magistrates, they were transferred to Greece, from where they helped them and asked her to apply for asylum in a third country for greater security.

Equality shot down

Over 200 Afghan judges fear for their lives after criminals are released

Among the great achievements made during the 20 years of US occupation and NATO, is equality at the constitutional level. For example, Article 22 of the Afghan Constitution states that "All citizens of Afghanistan, men and women, have the same rights." Article 43 states that “Education is a right of all Afghan citizens”, while Article 48 says that “Work is a right of all Afghans”.

On the other hand, the Afghan parliament drafted the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women, which was enacted in 2009, and according to the instrument, at least 22 acts of abuse against women, such as assault, forced marriage, rape, the prohibition for a girl to go to school or for women to buy property, were turned into criminal offenses.

Although these laws have not been repealed by the Taliban government, it has decreed that women, both workers and students, stay at home, without the possibility of going to school or work. According to the regime, this prohibition will be until all jobs and study centers can be considered safe.

Despite this, this does not give hope to Afghan women, since the secretary of the Taliban spokesman, Bilal Karimi, when asked whether women could occupy important positions such as judge or minister, said that for now "Labor conditions and opportunities for women are still being discussed."

However, the reality that exists in the country is different: a strong persecution of women who had prominent positions in the previous government, as the judge who is now in Greece, along with 25 of her colleagues, said.

But, apart from the judges, other women human rights defenders have also reported persecution, and they fear for their lives. This is revealed by an investigation carried out by the Reuters news agency.

According to the report, at least 1,000 women who work to guarantee human rights could be targeted by the Taliban,

Warnings are met

Over 200 Afghan judges fear for their lives after criminals are released

Women's groups, defenders of women's rights in Afghanistan, warned that with the advance of the Taliban to take power, dark days would come to the nation, in which the main targets of attack would be girls and women.

Since the beginning of 2021, there has been an increase in the number of civilians killed, reaching almost 50%, and according to figures from the United Nations (UN), an increase in women and children killed and injured was reported.

In January of this year two magistrates were killed in a car. At that time, the Afghan government held the Taliban responsible for the crimes, however, they denied their guilt.

When women began to see the advances of the Taliban, they warned the government and human rights organizations that this would set back freedom at all levels.

At that time, the government, the United States and the Taliban held a dialogue table to "end the conflict" that the nation was experiencing.

Over 200 Afghan judges fear for their lives after criminals are released

And the aspirations of this female are not a utopia, since a few days after the arrival of the Taliban to power, Afghan citizens, including many women, led demonstrations against the authoritarian regime of the Taliban, waving the national flag, which has been banned.

Although the demonstrations have diminished, due to the criminal actions of the Taliban, such as the beheading of women in public places, the dream of freedom does not die in the citizens who once breathed the airs of democracy.