Afghanistan: NPWJ strongly condemns the horrific attacks and pay tribute to the victims

Brussels – Rome, 13 May 2020

No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) utterly condemns the horrific attacks targeting civilians in Kabul and Nangarhar and stands in solidarity with the victims and the people of Afghanistan.
 
These atrocities, committed in an increasingly insecure and volatile security situation while the country has to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, constitute violations of International Humanitarian Law, for which the perpetrators should be brought to account. International Humanitarian Law clearly prohibits these kinds of attacks against civilians and in particular against children, who should be provided additional special protections during armed conflict. While we condemn all violations of IHL, these attacks stand out for their sheer inhumanity, especially given the increased challenges in Afghanistan's health system due to the pandemic.
 
The impunity that has existed for three decades for the war crimes and crimes against humanity that have been committed in Afghanistan is a blatant obstacle to the building of peace and stability that the people of this country deserve and aspire to. The lack of efforts to ensure accountability for the most egregious crimes under international law can only lead to more violence and deals a savage blow to the credibility of Afghanistan’s future governance that could emerge in the framework of the current U.S.-brokered peace talks.
 
 
No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) urges Afghanistan and her international partners to commit to ending that impunity and to ensure full and proper investigations and prosecutions of these crimes, whether domestically or through the International Criminal Court, which has jurisdiction in Afghanistan. We further urge Afghanistan and her international partners to provide the country with a path that strengthens the rule of law, promotes accountability and increases the legitimacy of Afghanistan’s elected and public officials, both in the eyes of the Afghan civil society and victims groups and internationally.
 
For further information,  contact Alison Smith, Director Of International Justice Program, on asmith@npwj.org or Nicola Giovannini, Press & Public Affairs Coordinator, on ngiovannini@npwj.org org.