Southern African Development Community (SADC)

Afghanistan: Statement by the Spokesperson

Brussels, 23/12/2020 - 18:21, UNIQUE ID: 201223_6
Statements by the Spokesperson

The last months in Afghanistan have seen a worrying trend of systematic targeted attacks and killings of journalists, human rights defenders, civil society representatives and civil servants. 

Today’s assassination of Mr Yousuf Rasheed, prominent civil society activist and head of the Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan, follows the killing of Rahmad Nikzad, journalist and Chair of Ghazni’s Association of Journalists and of five doctors, in the last three days. Other recent victims are Yama Siawash, former TOLO TV anchor and Malalai Maiwand, journalist and women’s rights activist. 

As others who have fallen victim to this senseless spiral of violence, they dedicated their lives fearlessly and humbly to the common good and furthering of human rights, democracy and humanity in Afghanistan.

The European Union expects transparent and thorough investigations of all these attacks and assassinations. The perpetrators and those ordering these crimes, regardless of affiliation, should held accountable in fair trials. 

The families and all who have lost loved ones to this cruel violence deserve justice. 

These attacks contribute to a climate of fear and repression and hamper the development of Afghanistan as the country is taking steps on a path towards peace. 

The violence must stop.