Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the Prosecutors For Prosecutors campaign necessary?

Following the fall of Kabul to the Taliban in August of 2021, the US and allied countries operated an airlift to evacuate their citizens and those Afghans who had assisted the allied efforts over the past 20 years. The airlift was only able to evacuate about 122,000 people. The number of Afghan allies that supported allied efforts for 20 years is estimated to exceed 1 million. Approximately 6,000 US and allied trained prosecutors, who upheld the rule of law by prosecuting terrorists, murderers, drug traffickers, and crimes of violence, have been left behind.

Why are prosecutors in Afghanistan at risk?
One of the first acts of the Taliban upon assuming power in August 2021 was to release all prisoners, estimated at 60,000. The Taliban told the prisoners they should seek vengeance on those who had incarcerated them. To this day U.S. and allied trained prosecutors are being hunted and killed by the Taliban. APA-US has so far identified 25 of the 26 reported murdered prosecutors.
How do prosecutors left behind in Afghanistan support themselves today?
All prosecutors who upheld the rule of law are unemployable as lawyers in Afghanistan today. The de facto Taliban government has eliminated the constitutional criminal justice system and established their own version of Sharia law, with violators of that law appearing before a cleric who may detain, sentence, and punish on the same day without due process. Every person attached to the constitutional legal system is unemployed today. Prosecutors, in particular, must remain in hiding. They can only support themselves and their families with donations.
Why do prosecutors who are in danger remain in Afghanistan?
Leaving Afghanistan requires money and documentation. Each traveler requires a passport (issued by the Taliban) and a visa from a new host country. These documents can cost thousands of dollars. Travel to and from Afghanistan is extremely limited with few flights servicing Afghanistan, and anyone boarding a plane must pass through Taliban controls. The passport office in Afghanistan has been suspended for months at a time by the Taliban. Hundreds of prosecutors have fled to neighboring Pakistan and Iran, subject to being forcibly repatriated to Afghanistan. Through our combined efforts, we hope to encourage the U.S. to add prosecutors to an expedited visa process. We also hope to work with other countries, such as Germany, Portugal, Spain, and Canada, that have already identified justice sector personnel, including prosecutors, as at-risk. We will work with all allied countries willing to assist in the relocation of prosecutors to safety.
Why can’t we currently get the Afghan prosecutors to the US?
Afghan prosecutors are not eligible for Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) to the U.S. as they were not directly employed by the U.S. government. They could be made eligible for Priority 1 or Priority 2 visas under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. Without efforts to expedite processing, however, these visas could take years and keep prosecutors at imminent risk of starvation, torture, and death. NGOs attempting to process SIV applicants from Afghanistan advise the current process is expected to take 2-3 years. Priority 1 and 2 visas are years behind the existing SIV backlog in processing.
What portion of my donation will go to getting Afghan prosecutors to safety?
Every dollar donated to PFP will go to NGOs to fund the relocation of Afghan prosecutors to safe countries. Prosecutors For Prosecutors is a campaign of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, a U.S. 501c3 nonprofit and nongovernmental organization.
How does PFP ensure that the Afghan prosecutors receiving funds are legitimately in need?
There is certainly a need to be aware of scammers lurking around any fundraising campaign. In this campaign, there are also concerns that the Taliban may pose as at-risk prosecutors to gain information about prosecutors in hiding. PFP will only work with established NGOs already engaged and experienced in vetting these issues. The NGO will usually use multiple trusted contacts to verify the details of each person requesting assistance. During the past year PFP has worked with multiple NGOs to deconflict the PFP Afghan prosecutor database and develop the list of 3800 that exists to to date. In addition, each government approving a prosecutor for admission to their country conducts their own vetting process using information the allies retained after departing Afghanistan.
Other than donating, how can I help?

In addition to funds, we seek experienced, talented, and passionate partners to help relocate prosecutors to places of safety. Helping them find employment as teachers, paralegals, law clerks, and investigators while they pass U.S. bar requirements is an important part of our mission. You can also help by spreading the word. If you are able to assist in any way, please contact or +1 (202) 847-5357.