Avocats Sans Frontières France (ASF France) is extremely concerned by recent events in Afghanistan and reports of escalating violence in the country.
Particularly attentive to the fate of Afghan women and girls and to the absolute preservation of their rights, ASF France reaffirms its solidarity with the Afghan people, lawyers, judges, human rights defenders, members of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, members of civil society and all those who fight for the rule of law and justice in Afghanistan.
We recall the obligation of absolute and unconditional respect for the Geneva Convention on Asylum and the European Union texts for the protection of persecuted populations. We therefore urge the French authorities to guarantee in France the full application of the right to asylum for all persons under direct and present threat, as well as the granting of visas and functional protection for lawyers in particular, who are particularly targeted by the Taliban.
Finally, we recall the statement of 17 August by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Mr Karim A. A. Khan QC, who emphasised that the events that took place in Afghanistan could be considered violations of international humanitarian law under the Rome Statute (extrajudicial executions, persecution of women and girls, crimes committed against children and other crimes affecting the civilian population as a whole).
Since its creation, ASF France has been involved in issues related to international criminal law, particularly through the defence of the accused and victims of the Rwandan genocide and the victims of the Khmer Rouge before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). Since 2015, ASF France has also been involved in supporting asylum seekers in their exile through the defence of migrants in Calais and Greece, and then with the establishment of a legal centre on the Greek island of Samos.
It is because of this past and present commitment that ASF France will mobilise, together with the entire profession and human rights associations, to help raise the voices of Afghan men and women who are victims of serious violations of their rights, and of all those who no longer have a say, everywhere and at all times.
©1st Lt. Rock Stevens