To commemorate World Humanitarian Day, HRI Executive Director reflects on the life and legacy of human rights lawyer Arthur Helton

August 21, 2023

August 2023 marks two years since the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the collapse of democracy under the Taliban takeover.

Afghan judges, prosecutors, and lawyers—especially women—have been forced into exile, leaving behind homes, extended families, life savings, and careers. This month also marks 20 years since the Canal Hotel bombing in Iraq, which took the life of human rights lawyer and refugee advocate Arthur Helton, along with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and 20 other humanitarians.

In tribute to Arthur’s legacy and to address the urgent need of exiled Afghan lawyers, HRI Executive Director Elisa Massimino gave a keynote address at The Pilot Program Empowering Afghan Lawyers—A Tribute to the Memory of Arthur Helton, sponsored by the ABA International Law Section.

Read Elisa Massimino’s remarks here.