Mysterious killings; 18 Afghan prosecutors assasinated in eight months

In the last eight months, Afghanistan has witnessed an unprecedented rise in mysterious murders of Afghan prosecutors and employees of judicial institutions.  Most murders cases of the Afghan prosecutors remain mysterious albeit the Taliban insurgents have claimed responsibility for some of these cases.  

On November 06, the country’s Attorney General’s Office (AGO) announced that as many as 14 prosecutors were assassinated in the last eight months. Four other Afghan prosecutors were reported dead in the last couple of weeks.

Mohammad Hassan Halimi, who was prosecutor attorney at the appellate prosecutor office of Nawa district of Ghazni province, was shot dead along with his brother on November 18. Unidentified armed men have shot Mr. Halimi while he was driving in 40 km west of Ghazni city. The killers managed to escape, according the media office of the provincial governor.

Two days before the Ghazni incident, two district attorneys were shot dead while two other attorneys were wounded by unidentified armed men in Qarabagh district of Kabul province, the AGO’s office confirmed the incident in a statement.

On November 10, another prosecutor attorney, working with the appellate prosecutor office of Ali Sher district of the eastern Khost province, was killed along with four police soldiers after they hit a landmine planted by the Taliban.

The incidents in which prosecutors were targeted this year, particularly in recent months, took place in Kabul, Ghazni, Helmand, Ghor, Kapisa, Nangarhar, Nimroz, Zabul, Parwan, Paktia, Paktika, Herat, and Baghlan provinces.

Although the AGO has repeatedly stressed to sue the murder cases of Afghan justice and judicial employees, Jamshid Rasooli, the spokesperson for AGO, refuses to give details and reveal  who were behind the murders. Speaking to Kabul Now, he just argued that a factor behind violence and threats posed against AGO’s employees is AGO’s achievements in the fight against terrorist criminals, drug cartels, and corruptions.

Describing the murders against ‘humanity’ and ‘justice’, the AGO noted that the prosecutors were ‘non-partisan’ employees who were just defending people’s freedom and rights. The prosecutors, however, are largely criticized by Afghan citizens for being corrupt and taking bribes all over the country.

Recently, AGO officials said that they have created a committee to avert murders, adding that the increased threats and cases of murder have not left negative impact on morale of AGO’s employees.

Nasrat Rahimi, spokesperson to the Ministry of Interior, has said security authorities have been instructed in all districts and provinces to ensure security of the employees of judicial institution with their full capabilities. He added that prosecutor attorneys, if needed, can obtain arm permit from the ministry.