Lawyers who worked under the previous regime in Afghanistan have told the Gazette directly of the fear they are now living with on a daily basis.

Since the Taliban seizure of power last month following the US and UK withdrawal, law firms have fielded numerous enquiries from people keen to get out of the country.

The Gazette has been contacted by lawyers in Afghanistan and concerned relatives in the UK asking for help and advice. These will be passed to groups working to provide immigration advice.

One UK-based family highlighted the situation of their relatives Mohammed Rasooli, a law professor and former legal adviser to the Afghan presidents and Anisa Rasooli, a judge and nominated for the first woman member of the Afghan Supreme Court. Other family members who worked as a parliamentary reporter and prosecutor in the Ministry of Justice are also still in Afghanistan.

The individuals are currently in hiding since the Taliban takeover and their UK-based relatives said: ‘We are desperate to get some help for our families in Kabul. I have registered their details with the [Foreign Office] and have reached my local MP, but unfortunately we have not had any response yet.’

A prosecutor still living in Afghanistan contacted the Gazette to say he and his family had been living in hiding since the day the Taliban took over his local province. Even before the seizure of power, he had received death threats to his home following the prosecution of Taliban suspects, with the letters stating that no-one would be spared. The lawyer said he had seen reports that the UK government had decided to save people who were in danger and pleaded for help from ministers to save his and his family’s life.

The Law Society has said it is ‘gravely concerned’ about the situation in Afghanistan and the perilous future of those who worked in the justice system under the old regime. There has been particular fear for the 270 women judges and 170 women lawyers and prosecutors based in the country, many of whom were not able to be evacuated before the allied troops left.

The Society said there needs to be a rethinking of the travel and entry requirements for Afghan citizens seeking safety in the UK.


Afghan lawyers’ plea to UK: save us from clutches of the Taliban