On Friday, 25 July 2014, Afghanistan’s Hazaras were once again the victim of terror and persecution because of their ethnicity and religion. The suspected Taliban fighters stopped the three vans – two heading to the capital of Kabul and one on its way from Kabul to Cheghcheran – in the Lal and Sarjungal district.
They separated the 14 Hazara passangers from 32 others after checking peoples’ identifications cards, and subjected them to torture and shot them dead.
Just a couple of weeks before this heart wrenching and brutal killing, Taliban killed over a 100 civilians in Argon or Paktika.
This latest atrocity happens after the murder of 17 Hazaras in Gizab district of Urozgan on 1st July, bringing the total number of Hazara civilians killed to over 30 in two separate acts of brutality by the Taliban. There are also unconfirmed reports of six Hazara University students beheaded a couple of weeks back in Maindan Wardak province.
These killings signal a disturbing change in character of the war in Afghanistan from a jihad against the central government and the international troops to a sectarian and an ethnic war against the Hazaras who constitute the staunch supporters of the post-Taliban democratic process backed by the international community.
The Hazaras in Afghanistan and the Hazara Diaspora are in shock after this latest heartless killing of civilians that included women and children. At this very crucial juncture of the history, the Hazaras once again resort to civil protests to put an end to the systematic discrimination and killing of their fellow Hazaras in Afghanistan at the hands of Taliban and demand the government of Afghanistan to fulfil its duty against the safety of its citizens.
Today tens of thousands of Hazaras have raised their concern about these barbaric killings and everywhere in the world, Hazaras denounce crimes against humanity and defend the right to life of Hazaras in Afghanistan, by following resolutions:
1. We condemn the current systematic persecution of Hazaras in Afghanistan at the hands of the Taliban and the reluctance of government to put an end to these killings in the last 13 years. The government has done nothing but talk and verbally condemn these barbaric killings of civilians.
2. We ask the government of Afghanistan to commit in its responsibility towards the safety of its citizen and to listen to the legitimate demands of thousands of Afghans in different parts of the country, to protect Hazaras and put an end to the ongoing massacres and barbaric killings of Hazaras.
3. We Appeal to the international community, specially the strategic partners of Afghanistan to raise their concerns with the outgoing Afghan government about the continued persecution of Hazaras. Those countries that are contractual parties to International Human Rights Covenants and Conventions have an obligation pursuant to customary International law norms to do their bits in order to prevent Afghanistan once again falling at the hands of extremists.
4. Therefore, we ask the International community to call upon the competent organs of the UN to take and consider appropriate actions for the prevention and suppression of the ethnic persecution of Hazaras in Afghanistan.
5. The international institutions, particularly the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Watch (HRW), and the like, lest can take notice of Hazara’s persecution in Afghanistan and take appropriate steps in the documentation and reporting of these systematic and ongoing killings.
6. We express our concerns that the barbaric targeting of Hazaras will continue to force them to flee and take refuge in other countries, which will eventually result in their extinction as an ethnic group which incurs the loss of a culture, a language and a precious segment of the life experiences of human beings;
7. We reiterate that the international community has an obligation to prevent the ongoing killing of Hazaras and the Afghan civilians at the hands of the Taliban where government has failed in its duty, such obligation dovetails with the responsibility to protect (R2P), recognised in 2005 by the United Nations General Assembly and endorsed the following year by the Security Council and Afghan civilians in general and Hazaras in specific are owed such an obligation and responsibility.
8. We express our serious concerns that if the current level of ethnic cleansing of Hazaras is not countered it will grow into wide scale massacre.
Hazara People International Network