Attacks on NGOs will never be tolerated
Yesterday’s dreadful attack on Save the Children’s Jalalabad office in Afghanistan shocked many around the world. It’s clear that its impact has been felt sharply across the NGO community.
Amnesty stands in solidarity with the Save the Children family after this utterly heinous crime. For more than four decades, this exceptional organisation has been working in Afghanistan to help society’s most vulnerable young people during some of the country’s most turbulent periods.
The work Save the Children carries out reaches a staggering 1.4 million Afghan children. It’s obvious that their life-saving work in such an unstable country is vital.
Not a target
No doubt, every single person in the building that was struck got into this line of work simply to help people. So it’s horrifying that there are some out there who think important charities, working tirelessly to save and better the lives of children, are a worthy target for their vitriol.
Sadly, there is risk involved in doing what our friends in Jalalabad do, and in this horrifying instance the most tragic worry became a reality. The attack, claimed by ISIS, is a truly cowardly and despicable act amounting to a war crime. It has claimed four lives, injured many more, and sent shockwaves throughout the humanitarian sector and beyond.
Every year hundreds of people are killed while carrying out important humanitarian work. Over the past few years we have seen globally that those who work to help others around the world have increasingly faced harassment, intimidation, smear campaigns and murder.
“The time is always right to do what is right”
Charity workers must be allowed to carry out their duties in a safe environment, and we at Amnesty are committed to making that happen. An attack on Save the Children is an attack on decency and humanity, and it will never be tolerated.
These are dark days, but we hope that everyone affected by this atrocity will be given the support to heal, and protection from such horrors happening again.
During moments like these, I am reminded of the Martin Luther King quote: “The time is always right to do what is right.” The message from us is this: hate will never win, and our strong community of NGOs will never stop fighting for what is right.
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.