Miami Judge Sheds Light on Dangers Women Afghan Judges Now Face

One specific group — female judges — is afraid they'll be the next Taliban targets.

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With the Taliban coming into power once again, many fear women's rights in Afghanistan may quickly disappear. From 1996 to 2001, girls were denied education, women could not work, and in some cases, they could not leave their homes without a male relative escort.

Over the last two decades, however, there has been much progress.

One specific group — female judges — is afraid they'll be the next Taliban targets.

There are about 250 female judges in Afghanistan.

"They represent everything that the Taliban hates," said Judge Lisa Walsh, Miami-Dade County Circuit Court. 

U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Tuesday that intelligence officials were in contact with the Taliban to ensure the “safe passage of people to the airport” in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Judge Lisa Walsh is a member of the International Association of Women Judges. Walsh and her colleagues say the lives of these Afghan women judges are in great danger.

"They have presided over trials and sentenced Taliban members in criminal court, in narcotics court, and in anti-corruption court. Those prisons are opened, they have been released and they have begun to contact the women judges, saying, we are coming for you," Walsh said.

In January, two female judges were assassinated in Afghanistan, presumably by the Taliban. In recent days, many judges have gone into hiding.

"They are not strangers to us. They are women we know well and we respect their work and they have been incredibly courageous and groundbreaking," Walsh said. 

The IAWJ released a statement that says in part: "The IAWJ urges governments to include the Afghan women judges and their families, who are in such a desperate and precarious position, in the special measures extended to interpreters, journalists and other personnel who provided essential service to the foreign military forces in Afghanistan."

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