ITJP

The ITJP Stands Firm in Support of Documenting Alleged Murders and Torture of Afghan Prosecutors

Taliban fighters engage in conversations with former prisoners upon their release at Pul-e Charkhi Prison in Kabul on September 13. Source: Radio Free Europe
NEW YORK, September 20, 2023 – As a founding organization of the Prosecutors for Prosecutors (PFP) campaign, the International Organization for Transitional Justice and Peace (ITJP) remains unwavering in its commitment to support saving the lives of Afghan prosecutors. ITJP fully endorses and supports ongoing efforts to meticulously document the alleged murders and torture of Afghan prosecutors and those in the justice system, with the ultimate aim of presenting these compelling cases before the International Criminal Court (ICC).
 
Disturbing reports received by the US Association of Prosecuting Attorneys shows that since August 15, 2021, 29 Afghan prosecutors have tragically fallen victim to murder or torture, either at the hands of the Taliban or criminals released by the Taliban. The Taliban also face allegations of hundreds of murders and targeted assassinations of prosecutors and members of the justice system prior to August 15.
 
While US Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and partner organizations diligently work to document additional instances of alleged murders and torture, and receiving statements from surviving witnesses, ITJP calls for a comprehensive and verified documentation process by these esteemed organizations. ITJP stands ready to support all ongoing initiatives dedicated to bringing these cases and witnesses to the attention of the ICC. True to its core mission, ITJP is dedicated to collaborating in the documentation of core international crimes and human rights violations and subsequently presenting them to the appropriate bodies, including the ICC.
 
Moreover, in its recent and united efforts, the PFP campaign leadership has formally asked the US Congress to expand the #AfghanAdjustmentAct to include Afghan prosecutors and Justice Sector personnel.
 
“The U.S. military has done honorable work in proposing legislative language in the 2023 Afghan Adjustment Act that seeks to expand Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) protection to those who supported them and are now in grave danger. We support their efforts and endorse their approach with the friendly amendment that SIV protection is extended to all justice sector personnel–including judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and investigators; all those who did their duty facing the Taliban and other terrorists in courtrooms”, stated the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys
 
To effectively manage the campaign and address matters related to the support and relocation of Afghan prosecutors, Yama Rayeen, Director of the ITJP and an advisory committee member, said “The PFP Campaign has established a dedicated task force and an advisory committee comprised of Afghans with experience in the previous Afghan justice system to provide valuable insights and counsel to the campaign’s management”. 
Yama Rayeen, a former prosecutor and Director of ITJP, joins Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill and members of the Major County Prosecutors Council and hold a moment of silence on Thursday, honoring prosecutors tragically lost to the Taliban. – Spenser Heaps, Desert News
In a united call to action, the PFP Campaign extends an invitation to prosecutors across the United States, from every state, city, and county, to rally behind their cause and contribute to the salvation of the Afghan prosecutors’ lives. “Over 300 Afghans, including judges, prosecutors, defense lawyers, human rights defenders, and journalists, have reached out to the campaign’s founding organizations, urgently appealing for assistance.”, stated the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. The support of these U.S. prosecutors can significantly impact the lives of Afghan prosecutors who trained by both U.S. and international allies over the past two decades.
 
The International Organization for Transitional Justice and Peace reaffirms its unwavering commitment to pursuing justice and peace in Afghanistan, standing shoulder to shoulder with the PFP Campaign and its esteemed partner organizations in this endeavor.
 
About the #ProsecutorsForProsecutors (PFP) Campaign:
 
The PFP Campaign is a coalition of 15 dedicated founding organizations committed to advocating for the support and rescue of Afghan prosecutors and those within the justice system. The PFP campaign was launched on July 23, 2023, in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States, under the leadership of the US Association of Prosecuting Attorneys that comprises U.S. prosecutors at state, county, and district levels, supported by U.S. attorneys, the International Organization for Transitional Justice and Peace, Jewish Humanitarian Response, International Association of Prosecutors, Afghanistan Prosecutors Association, Missouri Association of Prosecutors Attorneys, Pennsylvania Association of Prosecutors Attorneys, No One Left Behind, Afghan Evac Coalition, and more. The campaign’s objective is to secure a $15 million fund to provide a lifeline to those who have valiantly served for ensure justice and human rights and now face grave danger due to their unwavering commitment to upholding the rule of law. For more information, visit www.apa-pfp.org 

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The ITJP aims to combat core international crimes such as war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in war-torn countries, with a current focus on Afghanistan. Through education, advocacy, research, and evidence-gathering, we strive for justice and build a future of sustainable peace.

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