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2.2. Government officials, including judges, prosecutors and judicial staff; and those perceived as supporting the government



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Last updated: December 2020

This profile refers to governmental officials, such as governors, council members, civil servants, as well as members of the judiciary like judges, prosecutors, and other judicial staff, etc. It includes officials and those working for the courts at central, as well as provincial and district level. It also refers to individuals perceived as supporting the government (for example, members of political groups, community elders, civilians perceived as spies, employees of foreign embassies and international organisations, etc.).

COI summary

Employees of ministries which are at the forefront of the fight against insurgents, for example the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Interior Affairs, and the Ministry of Justice, have regularly been targeted by the Taliban. To a lesser degree, employees of other ministries not involved directly in the fight against insurgents have also been targeted; personal enmity or open statements against the Taliban could be seen as relevant circumstances in this regard [Anti-government elements, 2.6.2; Conflict targeting, 1.2.2; Security situation 2020, 1.3.3, 1.3.4].

Judges, prosecutors, and other judicial staff are important targets for the Taliban. Targeted killings, abductions and threats have been reported. Judges also frequently receive threats from local leaders or armed groups [State structure, 3.3; Conflict targeting, 1.2.2; Security situation 2020, 1.3.3, 1.3.4, 1.4.2].

There are reports of civilians being threatened and/or killed for being employees or (perceived) supporters or spies for the government. Important targets for AGEs are tribal or community elders and heads of villages suspected of cooperating with the government, as well as local or provincial council members or government officials [Anti-government elements, 2.6.2; Security situation 2020, 1.3.3, 1.3.4, 2; Conflict targeting, 1.2.2,].

Threats, targeted killings and parallel justice punishment of individuals accused of criticising the Taliban or supporting the government are also documented [Anti-government elements, 2.6.2; Criminal law and customary justice, 1.8].

Individuals under this profile are also seen as a legitimate target by other insurgent groups, for example the ISKP and foreign AGEs [Security situation 2020, 1.2.2, 1.5.2, Anti-government elements, 3.5, 3.6, 4.3].

Risk analysis

The acts to which individuals under this profile could be exposed are of such severe nature that they would amount to persecution (e.g. killing, abduction, parallel justice procedures).

Not all individuals under this profile would face the level of risk required to establish well-founded fear of persecution. The individual assessment of whether or not there is a reasonable degree of likelihood for the applicant to face persecution should take into account risk-impacting circumstances, such as: being linked to ministries at the forefront of the fight against insurgents (e.g. Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Interior Affairs, etc.), high position within the State (e.g. governors, senators, provincial and district officials, judges, prosecutors, other judicial staff), prominent position within the community, originating from contested areas or areas with insurgent presence, personal enmities or open statements against the Taliban, etc.

Nexus to a reason for persecution

Available information indicates that persecution of this profile is for reasons of (imputed) political opinion.

P1193#yIS1 Exclusion considerations could be relevant to this profile (see 6. Exclusion).