Joint UN-Afghan election board condemns murder, abduction of poll workers

The joint United Nations-Afghan body handling elections in Afghanistan condemned today in the strongest terms violence against people seeking to stabilize the war-torn country following last week's murder of one election worker and the kidnapping of two more.

The Joint Electoral Management Body (JEMB) said it unclear what the motive was in the death of a civic educator employed by the Tribal Liaison Office, one of our partner non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the civic education process, who was shot dead in Paktika province last Wednesday by at least two men on motorbikes - whether he was targeted for his election work or for other reasons is not yet known.

"The Joint Electoral Management Body however condemns in the strongest terms any violence against people working to bring democracy and stability to Afghanistan," JEMB International Spokesperson Bronwyn Curran said, noting that the latest murder was the fourth of an Afghan working in support of elections this year.

It was also not clear in the three other cases if they were targeted because of their involvement in elections or for other reasons.

The JEMB also condemned the abduction of two election workers and another man not connected with elections in Nuristan province, when some 80 men abducted them at 3 a.m. on Friday. All three were released unharmed on Saturday morning. The identity of their abductors remains unknown.