Afghan Female Judges in Hiding
More than 200 female judges remain in Afghanistan, many of them under threat and in hiding, according to the International Association of Women Judges. Taliban officials have recovered their personal information from court records, several former judges said, and some have had their bank accounts frozen.
For five years, Naima presided over cases of violence against women in Afghanistan. She heard harrowing accounts of unspeakable violence from battered women and their families. She even saw a man kill his wife before her own eyes during a court hearing. But in the two months since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, she says she regrets the 10 years she spent as a judge and the years she took to study law.
When she was a judge, Nabila helped women get divorces from abusive husbands. Since the Taliban took over, she said, she has received death threats from former prisoners. She said she was afraid that the freed prisoners would kill her and her daughters. “They are women who had the effrontery to sit in judgment on men,” said Susan Glazebrook, president of the judges’ association and a justice of the Supreme Court in New Zealand.
The plight of female judges and lawyers is one more example of the Taliban’s systematic unraveling of gains made by using females during the last many years. Female judges and legal professionals have left the courts beneath Taliban stress, all of sudden erasing one of the sign achievements of America and allied international locations given that 2001.The women live in a nation of perpetual fear that they or their cherished ones may be tracked down and killed.
A Taliban spokesman, Bilal Karimi, said no choice had been made approximately a future function for female judges and lawyers.“Right now, they'll be on preserve,” Mr. Karimi stated. The judges and legal professionals say they have been efficiently fired because it's far too dangerous for them to keep their art work, given the Taliban’s disapproval of ladies who sit down in judgment of men.“Women judging men is anathema to the Taliban,” Justice Glazebrook said.
Before the Taliban takeover, more than 270 women judges served in Afghanistan’s corrupt, male-ruled justice gadget. Special courts with female judges, together with special police devices and prosecution offices, had been set up in many places to deal with cases of violence towards ladies. A little more than a decade within the past, almost 90 percentage of girls experienced a few shape of domestic abuse of their lifetime, in keeping with a 2008 study through the U.S.A Institute of Peace.These judges helped to carry a few reform to many courts, particularly in urban regions, delivering justice to growing numbers of ladies and girls crushed and abused via husbands or male spouse and children.
Nabila stated she receive threats even after changing the SIM card in her cellphone. Even earlier than the Taliban takeover, female judges and legal professionals have been sometimes threatened or attacked. In January, two female judges on the Afghan Supreme Court had been shot and killed on their way to paintings in Kabul.Male judges and police officers frequently resisted reforms to the justice machine, and pressured girls to rescind their proceedings from the court. A Human Rights Watch file launched in August stated the machine had did not provide responsibility for violence in opposition to girls and women and had undermined progress to shield ladies’s rights.The document stated landmark rules surpassed in 2009, the Elimination of Violence Against Women regulation, changed into frequently sabotaged by way of male officials notwithstanding some development in bringing justice to victims underneath the law.
Friba, 40, was an appeals courtroom judge from Mazar-i-Sharif, a metropolis in Afghanistan’s north, before she fled to Greece. She has convicted several men for home violence and additionally presided over the trial of two Taliban members observed responsible for the November 2016 suicide bomb attack on the German consulate.“I turned into getting threats for the past 5 years,” Friba stated.In 2014, she secured a divorce for her sister who had been forced to marry a Talib at age 17 under the movement’s first regime. Her sister has considering the fact that fled to Egypt with their three children. “He remains after her,” she said. Mr. Karimi, a member of the Taliban cultural fee, denied that the previous judges and attorneys were at chance. He stated they have been covered by using a fashionable amnesty for all Afghans who served the previous government.