EU, NATO Condemns Targeted Attacks on Media, Civil Leaders in Afghanistan

Statement on targeted attacks on media representatives, civil society, and civilians

7 December 2020

Kabul-The EU Delegation, diplomatic missions of the EU Member States Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden, Australia, Canada, the NATO Mission to Afghanistan, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. Mission based in Kabul strongly condemn the recent targeted and unlawful attacks on representatives of the media, religious leaders and groups, human rights defenders, students, civil society and civilians at large, recalling that the Taliban and various terrorist organizations are responsible for the significant majority of civilian casualties in Afghanistan.  

We consider these not only as savage attacks against Afghan blood but as an attack on the very peace process in Afghanistan. Recognizing the bravery of Afghanistan’s people, we are confident that these attacks will fail in their intent to silence the diversity of opinions. It has never mattered more for the people of Afghanistan to feel able to express themselves freely and provide their opinions on the peace talks, as well as engage in the process, to achieve an inclusive and sustainable peace. Upholding the free flow of information and holding the perpetrators accountable will benefit everyone who wishes to live in a peaceful and democratic Afghanistan.

We honor all those in Afghanistan who work tirelessly to advance freedom of expression and freedom of the press. Our respective missions expect that all parties to the conflict will protect the freedom and the independence of the media and civil society in Afghanistan, which is indispensable to a vibrant, functioning, and economically viable democracy. 

We reaffirm our commitment to champion the freedom of all the Afghan people. We call for immediate compliance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law. To this end, we support the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in its efforts to investigate and prosecute those who are targeting these individuals with violence and immediately end the impunity of these killings.