Urgent Action Update: Spike in violent attacks on human rights defenders (Afghanistan: UA 118.20)March 16, 2021
A killing machine has been unleashed on us, and it looks like every other person we meet on road”, Afghan human rights defenders (HRDs) said as they continue to struggle under intensifying attacks from both the authorities and armed groups. They face intimidation, harassment, threats, violence, and targeted killings. While a Presidential Decree was issued on December 2020, for establishment of a Joint Commission for the protection of HRDs, there has been no progress in creating an effective, functional protection mechanism for those at risk. The government of Afghanistan needs to immediately step up to make the joint commission functional and responsive to the needs of HRDs.