World

Amnesty International: Afghan women activists face increasing violence in culture of impunity

  • Afghan health workers prepare to dispense vaccinations during a polio campaign in Kandahar, south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, April 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)

    Afghan health workers prepare to dispense vaccinations during a polio campaign in Kandahar, south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, April 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)  (The Associated Press)

  • Executive Director for Afghan women’s Network (AWN), Hasina Safi, center, raises her hand to ask a question during a press conference by Amnesty International announcing their report on threats to women activists in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, April 7, 2015. Amnesty International says the activists, who are working to improve the human rights situation in their country, face increased violence, including threats, sexual assault and assassinations. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

    Executive Director for Afghan women’s Network (AWN), Hasina Safi, center, raises her hand to ask a question during a press conference by Amnesty International announcing their report on threats to women activists in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, April 7, 2015. Amnesty International says the activists, who are working to improve the human rights situation in their country, face increased violence, including threats, sexual assault and assassinations. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)  (The Associated Press)

  • Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Salil Shetty, center, and his colleagues show their new report on threats to Afghan women activists to local and international representatives during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, April 7, 2015. Amnesty International says the activists, who are working to improve the human rights situation in their country, face increased violence, including threats, sexual assault and assassinations. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

    Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Salil Shetty, center, and his colleagues show their new report on threats to Afghan women activists to local and international representatives during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, April 7, 2015. Amnesty International says the activists, who are working to improve the human rights situation in their country, face increased violence, including threats, sexual assault and assassinations. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)  (The Associated Press)

Amnesty International says Afghan women activists who are working to improve the human rights situation in their country face increased violence, including threats, sexual assault and assassinations.

In a report released Tuesday, the watchdog says both the Afghan government and the international community have abandoned the activists despite the gains they have made in the past decade.

Based on interviews with more than 50 women defenders and their relatives across the country, Amnesty says it found that Afghan authorities consistently ignore or refuse to act on threats against women.

Despite legal protections, Amnesty says that women rights workers who do report violence or attacks are put at further risk simply for speaking out.

The New York-based group urged the Afghan government to address the culture of impunity to stop abuses.