UN Experts Urge Immediate Release Of Afghan Rights Defender

Published: Tue 23 Apr 2024 04:58 AM
Afghan human rights defender Ahmad Fahim Azimi must be immediately released from prison, where he has been detained for more than six months by Afghanistan’s de facto authorities, UN experts* said today.
A human rights and girls’ education advocate, Azimi is the head of the Better Thinking Centre and director of the Digital Citizen Lab in Afghanistan. He was imprisoned on 17 October 2023 by the de facto authorities in Afghanistan along with his colleague Siddiqullah Afghan, who was recently released.
Both human rights defenders were subjected to acts that amount to enforced disappearance over a few weeks. The experts have formally communicated with the de facto authorities regarding their case. “We urge the de facto authorities to also release Mr. Azimi without delay. There is no justification for his detention,” they said.
“We are gravely concerned about the wave of arrests of human rights defenders and education activists in Afghanistan, seemingly in connection with their work and advocacy for women's and girls' right to education,” they said. “Access to education is a fundamental right. It is essential that those who strive to expand this right are supported and protected, not persecuted.”

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