Women Living Under Muslim Laws condemns the cowardly attack on Fawzia Koofi, member of the Afghan team negotiating talks with the Taliban. We hope for her early and complete recovery. This is the second time that the Taliban and/or their ideological collaborators have made an attempt on the life of the former Member of Parliament and women’s rights activist, who has been a vocal critic of the Taliban and their indiscriminate killings and misogynistic views.
These kinds of attacks are not new and have been happening with increased frequency against women’s rights advocates, vocal members of civil society committed to plural democracy, and journalists. Tragically, many of them have lost their lives. Regrettably, the government has not been steadfast in pursuing perpetrators of this violence to bring them to justice. The government must find and bring to face the law all those involved in the attempt on the life of Ms. Fawzia Koofie. Failing this, the attack will be understood as notice to women’s rights advocates and civil society that attempts to silence all those who have been vocal and are working to prevent the loss of two decades of democratic advancement and human rights gains in the upcoming peace talks will continue. The attack is an indication to Afghan civil society and the world community at large of what awaits if the perpetrators of such heinous acts and their collaborators are not brought to justice.
The attack is particularly significant, occurring the same day that the Afghan government announced release of 400 Taliban prisoners convicted of serious crimes against the Afghan people, including murder. This vicious act is another reminder that peace without justice will not end the violence and bloodshed, nor will it be the lasting peace that Afghan people so desire.
“Peace” without justice, and without channels for collective reflection on the lacks that have led to these crimes, notably of freedom of expression, of tolerance, of acceptance of diversity and of plural democracy, will in fact put women and human rights advocates more directly in harm’s way. This act of violence, along with other atrocities that have occurred since the four-point “Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan” of February 2020 between the Taliban and President Trump, should be understood as a warning that such attacks will continue in an effort to silence those who do not adhere to the Taliban’s repressive and misogynist ideology.
Women Living Under Muslim Laws supports calls upon the government of Afghanistan to bring the perpetrators to justice. We support calls for the Afghan government to protect civil society, to be vigilant in guarding the safety of those who voice their commitment to long-lasting peace based on justice, human rights and the equality of all citizens, and to protect the rights of all Afghan citizens, including women’s citizenry rights already enshrined in the Constitution of Afghanistan.
Women Living Under Muslim Laws
WLUML Solidarity Letter with Afghan Women Fawzia Koofi Download