A global network of women judges fears that colleagues in Afghanistan could be in particular danger as the Taliban takes back control of the country, according to the Law Society Gazette of England and Wales.
In a statement issued on Friday, the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) warned that Afghan women judges and their families would be in particular danger due to the nature of their work, and past rulings they had made in the criminal, anti-corruption and family courts.
The association said that the danger was exacerbated by their gender, and the likelihood that offenders sentenced by them would be released from prison.
Forced to flee
The Taliban entered the capital, Kabul, yesterday (15 August), as the government collapsed and President Ashraf Ghani fled abroad.
The association said that 270 women served as judges in Afghanistan, and that more than 100 were members of the Afghan Women Judges Association, which is affiliated with the international association.
Some of the international association's board members spoke to Afghan judges at a virtual meeting last month, according to the Gazette.
“We have since had numerous follow-up messages from our members outlining the deteriorating situation. Some have already been forced to flee their posts in the provinces with their families because it was too dangerous to remain.,” said IAWJ president Justice Susan Glazebrook.