Afghan women protest to #StopHazaraGenocide after Kabul bombing kills dozens

Dozens of women from Afghanistan’s minority #Hazara community protested in the capital Saturday after a suicide bombing a day earlier killed at least 35 people – mostly young women, and all from the Hazara ethnic group. Protesters later gathered in front of the hospital and chanted slogans as dozens of heavily armed Taliban, some carrying rocket-propelled-grenade launchers. According to witnesses; peaceful protesters have been met with an increasingly violent response.

A bomber blew himself up on Friday at a Kabul study hall as hundreds of pupils were taking tests in preparation for university entrance exams in the city’s Dasht-e-Barchi area.

Since returning the Taliban to power, the luck of the state rises threats against Hazara and other minorities. The Hazaras are one of the main ethnic groups in Afghanistan, constituting over 20 percent of the population. The Hazaras have long been subjugated and subjected to discrimination and persecution due to their ethnic and religious identity.

Afghan women display placards reading ‘Stop Hazara genocide’ and chant slogans during a protest a day after a suicide bomb attack at the Dasht-e-Barchi learning center in Kabul on October 1, 2022. © AFP

@LinaRozbih The people in Afghanistan are killed because they are #Hazara, killed because they are #Shia, killed because they #seek_education, killed because they raise their voice against the #Taliban’s atrocities, killed because they seek their #rights…and the world only condemns & ignore.

@UNAMAnews UNAMA human rights teams in Kabul helping establish accurate record of college attack in #Hazara neighborhood. The latest UN figures show at least 35 killed & 82 hurt. The majority of casualties are girls & young women. All names need documenting & remembering & justice must be done.

@thedaoudnaji UNAMA asked the Taliban to provide security for the Hazaras, this looks like asking the Nazis to provide security for the Jews. #stopHazarGenocide

Pain, anger, sadness, frustration, impatience, and worry are words that describe my feelings right now. Seeing that dreams, hopes and desires are replaced by screams, sighs, and moans are killing me. |Amir Abbas| #StopHazarzaGenocide

UNICEF also offers its heartfelt condolences to all families affected by this terrible event and wishes for a swift recovery to the injured. “Violence in or around education establishments is never acceptable.  Such places must be havens of peace where children can learn, be with friends, and feel safe as they build skills for their futures.

Alongside the women’s pretests in Kabul, many Afghan citizens rises their voices on Twitter with the hashtag #StopHazarzaGenocide screaming with pain, anger, sadness, frustration, impatience, and worry, the words that the world leaders cannot and will not feel right now.

Mokhtar Yasa twitted; 20 yrs ago, Zahra Ahmadi was born to a #Hazara family in #Ghor province. She studies hard to get to this stage of her life. She dreamed to continue her university studies & serve her nation. The terrorists took her life & dreams by attacking her #Kaaj academy. #StopHazaraGenocide

“Children and adolescents are not, and must never be, the target of violence. Once again, UNICEF reminds all parties in Afghanistan to adhere to and respect human rights and ensure the safety and protection of all children and young people.” <UNICEF>

Ethnic dimension

As the UN has condemned a suicide bombing against Hazara, in their report to the Human Rights Council on 6 September, Mr. Bennett detailed how Hazara communities have been subjected to multiple forms of discrimination, negatively affecting their economic, social, cultural, and human rights.

“There are reports of arbitrary arrests, torture, and other ill-treatment, summary executions and enforced disappearances,” the Special Rapporteur insisted. “In addition, an increase in inflammatory speech is being reported, both online and in some mosques during Friday prayers, including calling for Hazaras to be killed.”| UN Human Rights Council |

On maj last year, before the Taliban’s return to power, at school in Dasht-e-Barchi at least 85 people — mainly girls — were killed and about 300 were wounded. At that time also Taliban were the focus of claims by international and national media. The decision on education has worrying echoes of the tactics the Taliban used in the 1990s, when they last ruled Afghanistan, to bar girls from school without issuing a formal prohibition.

Women are imprisoned in their homes and are denied access to basic health care and education. Food sent to help starving people is stolen by their leaders. The religious monuments of other faiths are destroyed. Children are forbidden to fly kites, or sing songs… A girl of seven is beaten for wearing white shoes. — President George W. Bush, Remarks to the Warsaw Conference on Combating Terrorism, November 6, 2001.

Violation of Basic Rights

Again the Taliban claims that we are trying to ensure a society in which women had a safe and dignified role, but the facts show the opposite. Women were stripped of their dignity under the Taliban. At the moment they are unable to support their families. Girls are deprived of basic health care and of any semblance of schooling. They are even deprived of their childhood under a regime that took away their songs, their dolls, and their stuffed animals — all banned by the Taliban.

The Taliban perpetrated egregious acts of violence against women, including rape, abduction, and forced marriage. Some families resorted to sending their daughters to Pakistan or Iran to protect them. Many Afghan activists’ lives are hidden and many have already left the country with the support of US and NATO members.

[Today’s horrific attack is… a shamefaced reminder of the inaptitude and utter failure of the Taliban to protect the people of Afghanistan. [Taliban’s] actions of omission and commission have only further aggravated the risk to the lives of the people of Afghanistan, especially those belonging to ethnic and minority communities. Samira Hamidi, Amnesty International’s South Asia Campaigner

By Marziye Vafayi and edited by Basir Seerat.

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