Afghanistan – Release of Taliban prisoners sentenced for killing French nationals (10 September 2020)


The Afghan authorities have released Zia Ahmad and Abdullah Gulam Astagir, who had been sentenced for the murder of Bettina Goislard, a French humanitarian worker on a mission in Afghanistan for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

France reiterates its strongest opposition to the release of individuals sentenced for committing crimes against French nationals, particularly soldiers and humanitarian workers who worked with dedication, alongside our Afghan partners, to provide security and assistance to people in need.

The President of the Republic and the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs stated this clearly to their Afghan counterparts during their latest telephone conversations. While France is not party to the negotiations with the Taliban begun by the Afghan Government or to the agreement between the Taliban and the United States, it has been mobilized at the highest level.

The peace negotiations, which France is ready to support, must take into account the interests and rights of the victims of conflict and terrorism in Afghanistan. These are the conditions necessary for that country’s long-term stabilization and the security of all.