Washington, DC– On the second-year anniversary of the fall of Kabul and the end of the Kabul airlift known as Operation Allies Refuge, the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys issued the following statement urging Congress to include justice sector personnel in the Afghan Adjustment Act:
“We represent prosecutors working in every state across the nation, at the city, county and state level, who have dedicated their lives to the rule of law and public safety. In courtrooms, each of us has been face to face with the most violent criminals who threatened the safety of our communities and offended the rule of law. Yet we have never faced the threats our fellow Afghan prosecutors are facing today.
At the request, and through the support of the United States and allied countries, Afghans established the rule of law and enforced it against the Taliban who sought to evade justice. Now, those who were prosecuted have been released from prison to govern and pursue deadly vengeance against these ministers of justice and their families.
There is no amnesty for Afghan prosecutors. More than 40 assassination attempts have been documented. More than 30 prosecutors have been killed (along with their family members) in the last two years. More prosecutors have been killed in Afghanistan over the past two years than have been killed in the United States over the last 100 years. In just two weeks, APA has received more than 200 emails from Afghan prosecutors pleading for their lives.
For twenty years the United States trained, funded, and worked daily with these Afghan prosecutors to build a democracy and enforce the rule of law. They were fully integrated into the courts created with the U.S. and our allies to enforce laws against terrorism, illegal narcotics, and violence against women. The current de facto Taliban government has dismantled those courts, fired all prosecutors, and ordered the round-up of prosecutors in hiding for further ‘processing’.
The U.S. military has done honorable work in proposing legislative language in the 2023 Afghan Adjustment Act that seeks to expand Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) protection to those who supported them and are now in grave danger. We support their efforts and endorse their approach with the friendly amendment that SIV protection is extended to all justice sector personnel–including judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and investigators; all those who did their duty facing the Taliban and other terrorists in courtrooms.
We urge Congress to act now to rescue our allies and support the amendment and passage of the Afghan Adjustment Act.”