International Day Of The Endangered Lawyer: “We Strongly And Unequivocally Condemn The Repressive Tendencies Of The Taliban Government In Afghanistan Towards Lawyers”- Maikyau
The President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, OON, SAN has said that the systemic extermination of Afghan lawyers by allegedly ‘unknown individuals’ and the repressive tendencies of the Taliban government to criminalize the practice of law in that country is condemnable and deplorable.
Maikyau made this known in a statement, dated 24th January 2023, to commemorate the International Day of the Endangered Lawyer. While tracing the history of the observance of the day to an incident that took place in Madrid, Spain he noted that the focus of of the world’s legal community this year is on Afghanistan, “where lawyers dedicated to championing human rights in the country are being persecuted and prevented from freely and safely practising their profession.”
“Following the Taliban takeover of administration in Afghanistan in 2021, there have been wide-spread, systematic and encompassing violations of human rights of Afghans. Lawyers, judges, and other actors in the Afghanistan legal system face grave risks in their efforts to protect the rule of law. At the last count, two women judges of the Afghan Supreme Court had been shot dead in Kabul, with many female prosecutors fleeing the country for fear of being attacked or killed”, he stated.
Recalling the recurring losses of lawyers, magistrates, and judges through extrajudicial killings, in addition to kidnappings, harassments and molestations they face while performing their duties, Maikyau said the Nigerian Bar Association is also using the opportunity of this year’s International Day of the Endangered Lawyer to draw the attention of the Nigerian government to the sad reality that Nigerian lawyers are fast becoming an endangered specie.
“It is not a crime to be a member of the legal profession – either on the Bench or at the Bar. Every citizen deserves to be accorded the right to life as guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, LAWYERS INCLUSIVE. It is important to note that one factor common to almost all the countries which have been chosen as the focus of the International Day of the Endangered Lawyer in the successive years, is their poor score on global human rights and rule of law index. We call on the Nigerian Government and all relevant authorities to put in place practical, proactive, and pragmatic steps to stop extra judicial killing and kidnapping of not only legal practitioners, but all categories of persons in Nigeria”, he noted.
Click STATEMENT – 2023 INT’L DAY OF THE ENDANGERED LAWYER to read the full statement.