Sunday, February 25, 2024

“Where is the safety?”: Brother of murdered Afghan judge | Conflict News

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Fear grips Kabul following a series of assassinations of prominent Afghans, including religious scholars, politicians, doctors, journalists and activists.

The brother of a judge murdered alongside a colleague in the Afghan capital over the weekend recounted how he heard the fatal gunshots while having breakfast.

Gunmen on motorcycles shot dead Zakia Herawi on Sunday as she was arrested on her way to the Supreme Court, where she was one of 200 female judges.

“We were having breakfast when we heard the shots. My children cried, ”his brother Haji Mustafa Herawi told AFP news agency at the family home in Kabul on Monday.

“First the driver was shot in the shoulder, then my sister was shot in the forehead.

A colleague named Qadria, also a judge, was killed alongside him, officials said.

Fear grips the capital after a string of killings of prominent Afghans – including religious scholars, politicians, doctors, journalists and activists.

But Haji Mustafa Herawi told AFP the family never expected the violence to reach their doorstep.

“We had no hostility with anyone… We received no threats,” he said.

He didn’t know who was to blame for his sister’s murder, although he also criticized the government for the lack of security.

“The Taliban murdered my sister,” he said.

“The government has absolutely failed to protect the population. Where’s the security? He added, his voice choking with anger.

No group has claimed responsibility for Sunday’s killings, but Afghan and American officials blamed the Taliban.

Resident washes road after attackers shot dead two Afghan women judges [Wakil Kohsar/AFP]

Justice Herawi, 47, joined the Supreme Court in 1992, but was exiled to Pakistan during the Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001.

She returned to Kabul in 2002, shortly after the radical Islamist regime was ousted by a US-led invasion following the September 11 attacks.

Like many Afghan families, their experience of violence dates back decades.

The family patriarch was killed in a rocket attack by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar militiamen in the 1990s, the brother said.

The current wave of assassinations began in September, around the time the government launched peace talks with the Taliban.

“We have no security in Kabul. It’s just a coincidence that you are alive, ”said Farman Wesal, a Kabul resident, who, like many Afghans, said he was considering options for leaving the country.

“We don’t know where to go … If the situation continues like this, we will be forced to flee.”

Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh – responsible for security in Kabul – said targeted killings had increased because fighters from armed groups believed they would be pardoned if they were arrested following a massive exchange of prisoners between the warring parties last year.

“The solution is that those who are arrested must be hanged,” he said on Facebook on Monday.

Kabul was rocked on Monday by three bomb attacks, in which one person was killed and another injured, officials said.


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