UN slams attack on human rights workers in Afghanistan

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UNITED NATIONS, Oct 27 (APP): The top UN official in Afghanistan has condemned the killing of two human rights workers on Monday by a remote-controlled explosive device in the eastern city of Jalalabad, saying, “the climate of fear created by such
attacks, threatens vital human rights work” being carried out throughout the country.
“An intentional attack against people who dedicate their lives to protecting the rights of Afghan citizens is an atrocity,” Nicholas Haysom, the Secretary-General’s Special
Representative for Afghanistan and head of UN Assistance
Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said in a statement issued in Kabul.
The two killed were employees of the Afghanistan
Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). Six other staff
of the Commission were injured when a remote-controlled
improvised explosive device detonated against the human
rights group’s minibus in Jalalabad.
“Victims of human rights violations and abuses in Afghanistan
often rely on AIHRC to document and draw attention to
their plight,” Haysom said. “The climate of fear created
by such attacks, threatens vital human rights work carried
out throughout Afghanistan.”
The UN mission “encourages relevant authorities to
undertake prompt, thorough and impartial investigations, to hold
those found responsible to account, and to ensure an effective remedy for victims.”
It also said “authorities should take robust measures
to ensure adequate protection of human rights defenders,
women’s rights activists, journalists, civil society
organizations and other individuals and organizations working to
promote and protect human rights.”
In addition, UNAMA noted that the deliberate targeting of
civilians and the indiscriminate use of explosives in
civilian populated areas are violations of international
humanitarian law and “may amount to war crimes.”