Wave of Judicial Assassinations Prompts Fears, Calls for Action

Wave of Judicial Assassinations Prompts Fears, Calls for Action
Governance and Rule of Law
Wednesday, 03 June 2015
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 June 2015
Written by TOLOnews.com
Suspect arrested in assassination case | TOLOnews

Successive assassinations of Afghan judicial officials over the past few weeks have fed fears about deteriorating security and the Kabul government's inability to protect even high-ranking public servants based in the capital.

On Monday, a group of unknown armed men shot dead a judge of the Kabul Primary Court while he was driving to his office. In late December, unidentified armed men also shot and killed the head of the Supreme Court Secretariat near his house in Kabul.

The Association of Afghan Lawyers, along with other members of the legal community, have expressed major concerns about the safety of judicial and legal authorities, suggesting that security threats would undermine the integrity of their work. "If a judge doesn't feel safe, it will be difficult for him to conduct a transparent legal session," Afghanistan Lawyers Association Deputy Abdul Subhan Misbah said on Tuesday.

Ezzatullah, 36, was a rising judge and the father of eight children before he was mercilessly murdered on his way to work Monday. His family has called on government to arrest the perpetrators and ensure justice is served. "They killed my father and now I ask the government to arrest the killers and hand them over to justice," a son of the slain judge named Bashir Ahmad said.

Kabul Police officials have claimed that man suspected of playing a role in the killing has been detained and questioned. Reportedly, the man already confessed to the crime. It remains unclear if the man, along with any potential accomplices, acted out of support for anti-government insurgents or for another reason, though police officials referred to him as a "terrorist."

"The terrorist has been arrested and is in the Kabul Police Department," Kabul Police Chief Abdul Rahman Rahimi said. "He was carrying a gun with a silencer."