The Law Society, Bar Council and Bar Human Rights Committee have urged the UK government to offer asylum to female judges and other legal professionals trapped in Afghanistan.
In a joint statement today, the professional bodies say they are ‘gravely concerned’ about the situation in Afghanistan and the fate of all those who are working in the Afghan justice system who now face a ‘perilous future’ under the Taliban.
‘We are extremely 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 and – in liaison with its international allies – to offer evacuation and safety and asylum in the UK to those women judges, their families, and other members of the legal profession who are in serious danger.’
Last week, the International Association of Women Judges warned that Afghan women judges and their families would be in particular danger due to the nature of their work and past rulings they have made in the criminal, anti-corruption and family courts. The association said the danger was exacerbated by their gender and the likelihood that offenders sentenced by them will be released from prison.
The Taliban entered the capital yesterday as the government collapsed and President Ashraf Ghani left the country.