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NEWS UPDATE

PRESS STATEMENT: UN Special Representative Ján Kubiš on the killing of electoral campaign workers

KABUL, 2 February 2014 – The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Afghanistan, Ján Kubiš, strongly condemns the killing of the two members of the election campaign team of one of the presidential candidates, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. They were shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Herat city on Saturday night.

The Special Representative sends his deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of those who lost their lives in this criminal act.

The attack came at a critical moment for Afghanistan on the eve of the election campaign as the country prepares for the presidential and provincial polling in April. This cowardly action constitutes a violent intimidation of electoral candidates and their supporters, and cannot be tolerated.

The Special Representative urges national authorities to take necessary measures to bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice. He calls upon the Afghan security forces to be on heightened vigilance over the coming weeks leading to the elections.

The Special Representative strongly deplores any attempts to undermine the electoral process and holding the elections on 5 April. The people of Afghanistan should be able to exercise their fundamental right to express their democratic will and to vote in an atmosphere free of intimidation and violence. The Special Representative calls on all concerned to ensure the peaceful completion of the electoral process and holding of the election on the date established by the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan.

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