On December 21st, the Presidents of the 4 European Associations of Judges (Association of European Administrative Judges, AEAJ; the European Association of Judges, EAJ; Judges for Judges and Magistrates Européens pour la Démocratie et les Libertés, MEDEL) drafted a letter concerning the precarious situation – with specific risk of death – of judges, prosecutors, lawyers and human rights activists in Afghanistan.
The letter was sent to the German Federal Minister of Justice.
Europe, 21 December 2021
Excellency Dr. Marco Buschmann MdB
Minister of Justice
Mohrenstraße 37, D-10117 Berlin
The four European Associations of Judges undersigned are specifically concerned about the precarious situation – with specific risk of death – of judges, prosecutors, lawyers and human rights activists in Afghanistan.
This extraordinary situation in Afghanistan induced all four European associations of judges
• The Association of European Administrative Judges (AEAJ),
• the European Association of Judges (EAJ),
• Judges for Judges and
• Magistrates Européens pour la Démocratie et les Libertés (MEDEL)
to jointly address you in order to urgently raise our voices for the Afghan judicial colleagues prosecutors and lawyers. Germany has not only shown courage and clear standing to evacuate many expatriates and Afghans so far but also because Germany is dedicated to fundamental rights and the values of humanity and democracy.
Afghan judges are constantly evacuated. However, the number of those Afghan colleagues who did not yet have an opportunity to get visa and be evacuated, raises deep concerns. We need to specifically draw attention to those Afghan judges (be it male or female) who still face a life threatening situation in Afghanistan.
Their lives are in increased danger – not only because of their gender, in the case of women – but also because of the nature of their work and the likelihood of retaliation from persons having been sentenced before by these judges. Recent reports confirm killings of judges by former prisoners who take revenge for having been sentenced by these judges.
Their courage and dedication to contribute to the rule of law in their country in the last years – in line with the efforts undertaken by European governments as well as the European Union – must be highlighted. The commitment of these persons to build up a judicial system based on principles of rule of law should be kept in mind.
Under these circumstances, we address you, Your Excellency, in order to respectfully emphasize the urgent need to evacuate justice personnel from Afghanistan.
We can provide you with more detailed information, should you wish and provide all possible support.
We are confident in your full commitment to protect the values of Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights!
Edith Zeller m.p. President of the Association of European Administrative Judges (AEAJ)
Filipe Marques m.p. President of Magistrats Européens pour la Démocratie et les Libertés (MEDEL)
Duro Sessa m.p. President of the European Association of Judges (EAJ)
Tamara Trotman m.p. President of Judges for Judges
Jose Igreja Matos m.p. President of IAJ