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NEWS UPDATE

PRESS STATEMENT: UNAMA condemns mutilation of voters in western Afghanistan

KABUL, 15 June 2014 – The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) strongly condemns the mutilation of eleven civilians in the western province of Herat.

In interviews with UNAMA human rights monitors, the victims said the Taliban cut off their index fingers as punishment for having voted.

“Like millions of their countrymen and women, these ordinary Afghans were exercising their fundamental right to determine the future path of their country through voting and not through violence and intimidation. By their vote, they already defeated those who promote terror and violence," said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, Ján Kubiš.

“Such abhorrent acts like this inhuman cruelty against Afghan civilians are a manifestation of weakness and desperation on the part of those who committed this crime, as they know they have lost the support of the Afghan people,” he added.

UNAMA reiterates that attacks directed against civilians, including mutilations, are serious violations of international humanitarian law which parties to the armed conflict – including all anti-Government elements – must uphold.
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