At least 17 human rights defenders were murdered in Afghanistan in 2020, an advocacy group said in a report.
This is the highest total for a single year in the country since the start of the documentation project in 2016, according to the report by Front Line Defenders.
It said that the peace process, and the release of Taliban members from prison, has increased the vulnerability of and threats to human rights defenders.
The report said that the government has proven incapable of living up to its public rhetoric on protecting and supporting human rights defenders in the country.
The report cited Ibrahim Ebrat, Fatima Khalil, Ahmad Jawed and Malala Maiwand as human rights defenders who were killed in Afghanistan in 2020.
Globally, 331 human rights defenders were killed in 2020.
177 such deaths, more than half of the global total, were recorded in Columbia. The Philippines was the second deadliest country with 25 murders, followed by Honduras, Mexico, Afghanistan, Brazil and Guatemala.