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Parwana Ibrahimkhel


Parwana Ibrahimkhel has been fighting for women rights in Afghanistan even in the context of violent suppression of dissent and activism. Days before her abduction, on 16 January 2022, she participated in a protest near Kabul University, demanding the rights of women to work, to education and freedom.


The continuing lack of security and instability in the country impact negatively on the ability of woman human rights defenders (WHRDs) and human rights defenders (HRDs) to carry out their work. They are subjected to threats, intimidation, harassment, surveillance, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings. Perpetrators include both state and non-state actors – who act with impunity, knowing that the State lacks the ability and commitment to ensure the safety of defenders and ensure accountability for crimes. Human rights defenders working in remote regions, are at particular risk and vulnerable to attack. Women human rights defenders and those working on the rights of women and girls, are systematically threatened, and attacked – for the work they do, and what they represent. WHRDs are seen as a direct challenge to the status quo. They lack effective protection from the State including police, and face obstacles and threats from within their own communities, state agencies, and extremist groups.