|History and Biodata
Rohullah Qarizada (20211123)
Mrs. Najla Raheel (20211212)
The AIBA was established in 2008 after the IBA raised considerable funds and worked jointly with local Afghan lawyers to create Afghanistan’s first bar association.
Raheel and AIBA President, Ruhullah Qarizada, are two of the AIBA Executive team that have managed to flee Afghanistan with their families. The Taliban announced that the AIBA will be merged with the Ministry of Justice and has appointed one of its own leaders as president, effectively stripping the association of any independence. Qarizada is particularly concerned that the Taliban has access to AIBA’s bank account and its database, which contains details of more than 2,500 registered lawyers. ‘In this database everything is written about these lawyers – their family members, their addresses, everything,’ he says. ‘The Taliban should not access that database because it will put lawyers' lives in more danger.’
The Afghanistan Independent Bar Association was formed in 2008 with the assistance of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) and previously received support from USAID. At last count, before the Taliban takeover, the Association had more than 2,500 registered lawyers practicing in the Afghan courts. According to the IBAHRI, the AIBA is “the only bar association in the world to have a quota for women on all executive committees and at least one vice-president must be a woman. There is also a compulsory annual requirement that each member must undertake at least three pro bono cases a year. These bylaws were concepts raised by Afghans themselves.” (20211123)