EU Parliament worried about ‘eruption of violence’ in Afghanistan

The EU has condemned targeted killings of journalists, human rights defenders, and civil society representatives and continuous violence in Afghanistan and called for an immediate ceasefire.

In a statement issued on Friday, the European Parliament called for a ceasefire and for parties to the conflict to continue the peace process in order to preserve the fundamental rights and principles in a future Afghanistan.

The statement comes days after three female media workers were assassinated in eastern Nangarhar province.

Chair of the Delegation for relations with Afghanistan Petras Austrevicius stated: “During the last months, we have seen an eruption of violence. It is very worrisome that this violence targets systematically those who contribute to an open and free society and who ensure the freedom of speech and media. Women are very often victims of these targeted attacks.”

“On behalf of the European Parliament, we condemn in the strongest terms the targeted assassinations of journalists, human rights defenders and civil society representatives,” Austrevicius said.

The European Parliament also called on the Afghan government to conduct thorough and transparent investigations and hold those responsible for the terrorist attacks accountable.

“The European Parliament urges all sides to stop the violence and put in place an immediate and permanent ceasefire. We call all sides to continue the peace negotiations,” he stated.

“The European Parliament insists that whatever the outcome of peace negotiations will be, a future constitution must guarantee the fundamental rights and principles of a free and open society, built upon the political, economic and social achievements of the people of Afghanistan,” the statement read.

Negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban have taken place since 12 September 2020 in Doha, the capital of Qatar to try to reach a peace agreement.

The EU stated that since then, the situation for civil society in the country has been rapidly deteriorating with at least fourteen targeted killings of journalists and human rights defenders by unidentified armed individuals or by explosive devices.