At least 28 civilians were killed, and 249 others were wounded during the Afghan presidential election on September 28, said the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, in a new report released on Tuesday.
“These attacks, along with public statements made by the Taliban, revealed a deliberate campaign intended to undermine the electoral process and deprive Afghan citizens of their right to participate in this important political process, freely and without fear,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan.
“Many Afghan people, however, defied the threats and cast their votes – brave acts that I commend,” Yamamoto said.
UNAMA in the report also said that the acts or threats of violence intended to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited under international humanitarian law.
“Deliberate acts of violence against voters, election workers, campaigners, election rally sites and polling centers are completely unacceptable,” said Yamamoto. “Widespread or systematic attacks against civilian populations may constitute crimes against humanity; the United Nations unequivocally condemns them.”
The report also said that according to international human rights law, everyone has the right to take part in public affairs, to vote and to be elected to government without discrimination and without unreasonable restrictions:
“All citizens – whether voters, candidates or election-related staff – have the right to be free from fear and intimidation at all stages of an election process.”