Cahill Provides Pro Bono Support for the Evacuation of Afghan Musicians
As part of Cahill’s Pro Bono for the Arts Initiative, a team of Cahill lawyers consisting of Brock Bosson, Craig Horowitz, Ross Sturman, Elizabeth Brown, Jennifer Potts, and Katherine Sarkar provided time-sensitive legal advice in support of efforts to evacuate students and faculty of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM) from Afghanistan, including the students who are members of Zohra, ANIM’s renowned all-female orchestra.
The Cahill team worked directly with the nonprofit organization Friends of ANIM and Dr. Ahmad Sarmast, who founded ANIM with the mission of reviving Afghan musical traditions with an emphasis on music education for girls. For his efforts, Dr. Sarmast was targeted by the Taliban and severely injured by a suicide bomber in 2014.
Rescue efforts began in early October, and 272 members of the ANIM community were evacuated from Afghanistan for resettlement in Portugal via Qatar. With the Cahill team advising on certain contractual and cross-border legal issues related to the final leg of their journey to freedom, the group arrived in Lisbon on December 13, as reported by Reuters.
Portugal has granted asylum to all ANIM's members and their immediate family, making it the largest rescue operation of a self-contained Afghan community since August's takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban.