International Law

ABA condemns terrorist attacks aimed at judicial institutions in Afghanistan and Pakistan

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The American Bar Association condemned recent terrorist attacks aimed at court systems in Afghanistan and Pakistan in a statement Wednesday written by ABA President Linda A. Klein.

Two attacks in February—one on the Supreme Court of Afghanistan in Kabul and one on the District Court in Charsadda, Pakistan—were singled out by Klein.

At least 20 people died and 41 people were injured in the Kabul attack Feb. 7 when a suicide bomber attacked the courthouse parking lot as court employees were leaving work for the day, USA Today and BBC News reported. Seven people were killed and 21 were injured by multiple suicide bombers Feb. 21 at the court in Charsadda, the Pakistani newspaper the Express Tribune reported. The Charsadda attack happened almost one year after another suicide bomber trying to enter the district court in Charsadda killed 16 people, the Express Tribune reported at the time.

“Courthouses—and judges, prosecutors, lawyers, court staff, litigants and witnesses—are too often the targets of terrorist attacks, precisely because of the ideals that they represent in society: justice and the rule of law,” Klein said in the statement. “These representatives of the justice system are essential to the democratic structure of any nation and warrant special attention and protection.”

Klein said that the ABA was calling upon the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan to ensure court security and protect those involved in the justice system from violence. “We stand in solidarity with the judges, prosecutors, lawyers and all of those in Afghanistan and Pakistan who serve and champion justice and the rule of law,” she wrote.

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