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APF mourns murdered human rights defender

Graphic: Abdul Samad Amiri

Abdul Samad Amiri was murdered by the Taliban for his work with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.

The APF has expressed its shock and outrage at the brutal killing of Abdul Samad Amiri, murdered by the Taliban for his work with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC).

On 3 September 2019, the Taliban abducted Mr Amiri, Acting Director of the Ghor Provincial Office, as he was travelling to attend a family gathering.

Attempts by the AIHRC and Mr Amiri's family to negotiate his release through influential local leaders were unsuccessful.

Two days later, on 5 September, the Taliban assassinated Mr Amiri by gunfire.

Whatever I do for my country, though insufficient to what I owe, makes me happy … Despite the difficulties, I owe my life to this land and will work for its betterment so long as I live.

Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission Logo Abdul Samad Amiri, Acting Director, Ghor Provincial Office

On behalf of all national human rights institutions in the region, APF Chairperson Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher offered her deepest condolences to Mr Amiri's family and colleagues.

"This deplorable and shocking act of violence deliberately targeted a passionate human rights defender," she said.

"We condemn the brutal killing of Mr Amiri in the strongest possible terms."

Professor Croucher said Mr Amiri had served the people of Afghanistan with courage and dedication for many years, through his work to promote and protect the rights of children and, most recently, leading the Commission's work in Ghor Province.

"Through these efforts, he sought to realise his hope for a peaceful, inclusive and just Afghanistan," she said.

"He also inspired representatives from other national human rights institutions in the region through his participation in the work of the APF. We remember the energy, enthusiasm and warmth he brought to our recent program on monitoring economic, social and cultural rights.

"In the face of threats and danger, Mr Amiri chose to defend the rights of the vulnerable and be an advocate for change. His legacy will long be remembered."

Graphic: Abdul Samad Amiri at the APF's training course on monitoring ESC rights

Professor Croucher said the APF stood in solidarity with the AIHRC in calling for "a full investigation of this heinous crime and the prosecution of its perpetrators".

In a statement on its website, the AIHRC also drew attention to other colleagues who had lost their lives to terrorism: Professor Hamida Barmaki, Commissioner; Ansari Baluch, Head of the Ghor Provincial Office; Imran Aziz, Deputy Director of the Children Rights Unit; and Shafiqullah Naseri, Receptionist with the Nangarhar Provincial Office.

"We lost all these colleagues and incredible human rights defenders to terrorism," the AIHRC said.

"The AIHRC assures citizens of its sustained commitment and work for the promotion and protection of human rights in Afghanistan, despite the difficult circumstances."

Date: 11 September 2019

Image credits

  1. Abdul Samad Amiri - Memorial Facebook page
  2. Abdul Samad Amiri at the APF's training course on monitoring ESC rights - APF