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Support Afghanistan human rights defenders

Graphic: Leave No Defender Behind campaign banner

Right now, the situation in Afghanistan is forcing human rights defenders to hide, or flee their homes, not knowing where to turn.

We hold grave fears for their safety. We need to get them out of Afghanistan. We need your help. 

Donate now

Since Taliban forces swept across the country in recent weeks, there is credible evidence of summary executions, acts of violence and intimidation, including threats against human rights defenders – those individuals, groups or organisations working to protect and promote human rights.

Despite the long-running conflict in Afghanistan, there has been remarkable progress in the enjoyment of human rights over the past 20 years. The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) has been at the forefront of this work.

Graphic: Afghanistan

At the Asia Pacific Forum we’ve worked closely with staff at the AIHRC for many years. These courageous individuals have exposed human rights abuses across the country and staunchly advocated for the rights of all Afghan people, including women, girls and marginalised groups.

They are used to working in dangerous environments, regularly facing threats to their lives. But now, they are exposed to greater personal risk, unable to live freely, unable to work safely, and gravely fearing for members of their families.

These are not empty threats. Tragically, AIHRC staff have been killed by the Taliban in the past. In June 2020, Fatima Khalil and Ahmed Jawid Folad were killed in a targeted attack on their car in Kabul. Ms Khalil was a young human rights defender at the start of her career. Mr Folad was one of the Commission’s longest-serving employees. In September 2019, Abdul Samad Amiri was captured and murdered by the Taliban. He had worked with the Commission for many years, including as a children’s rights officer.

Other human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers and women’s rights activists are also at risk of reprisals by the Taliban. These brave defenders have risked their lives for years to fight for human rights, to fight for justice, to fight for equality and to fight for peace in Afghanistan.

We stand in solidarity with Afghanistan’s human rights defenders. We must #LeaveNoDefenderBehind.

100% of all donations received will go to the work of the APF, to support Afghanistan’s human rights defenders, including the staff and families of the AIHRC. The APF will advocate for the protection of human rights defenders and seek the provision of visas and safe passage to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

How you can help: 

1. Donate now – 100% of your donation will go towards work to support Afghanistan human rights defenders at risk.

2. Take action on social media - like, post, comment and get behind our call to #LeaveNoDefenderBehind on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn

3. Write a letter to your local MP – call on them to expand their government’s humanitarian intake to include Afghanistan’s human rights defenders

4. Sign a petition - urge your government to increase their humanitarian intake

APF Chairperson, Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM, delivers a statement to the United Nations Human Rights Council special session on Afghanistan.


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Image credits

  1. Leave No Defender Behind campaign banner - APF
  2. Afghanistan - Koldo on Flickr Creative Commons