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Urgent Appeal for the protection of the Hazara community in Afghanistan

For Immediate Release: 18th October 2021


On Monday 18th October 2021, Hazara diaspora communities from across the world will join the Hazara Committee in the UK (HCUK) in a global campaign to demand the implementation of urgent measures for the protection of the Hazara community in Afghanistan.


This request will be presented to the international community and to the UK Government as part of a global campaign which emerged in response to acts of violence against, and the forceful displacement of, thousands of Hazara families, which were carried out by the Taliban. In Daikundi province, the number of displaced families ranges from four hundred to two thousand from fifteen different villages. Furthermore, in the Nawmesh district of Helmand, an estimated two thousand families have been forcefully displaced, while in Mazar-i-Sharif, the number is over four thousand families.


In the past two weeks, two deadly attacks have been carried out against Shi’a Hazaras. On the 15th of October, the attack on Shia Mosque in Kandahar killed at least 68 people and wounded 90 others. This happened only a week after another devastating blast that killed more than 150 Hazara worshippers and injured 200 more others at a Shi’a Mosque in Kunduz, on 8th October 2021.


These latest rounds of attacks mark a profoundly worrying and dramatic escalation of violence against the Hazara people, who have long been targets of sectarian violence, systemic discrimination, persecution, and forced displacement in Afghanistan. Amnesty International has recently released reports verifying that the mistreatment, displacement, violence, and massacre of Hazaras are becoming commonplace. Similarly, during the Taliban's previous period in power, the Hazara community never found any safety under their rule. They were the target of vicious and violent attacks, which in Mazar-i-Sharif in 1998 resulted in more than 10 thousand deaths. Despite the ongoing and acute dangers faced by the Hazara people, the international community has been largely silent, including the UK Government.


We demand the United Kingdom act swiftly to protect the long-persecuted Hazaras, a Shi’a religious minority amid Afghanistan’s Sunni majority.


The Hazara Committee in the UK (HCUK) is calling for an urgent commitment from the United Kingdom Government to do the following:


• Protect Afghanistan’s Hazara population, by pressuring the Taliban to protect the rights of religious minorities such as the Hazaras to prevent further atrocities and potential genocide.


• Take immediate steps to accept more Hazara refugees and continue its annual humanitarian intake prioritising Hazara asylum seekers and refugees in the UK and broader European Union.


• Immediately work towards facilitating safe passage out of Afghanistan for individuals in need of urgent humanitarian protection, including Hazaras.


• Consider Hazaras’ well-founded fear of persecution and recognise Hazaras as a special “vulnerable group” as part of the UK’s newly introduced Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme (ACRS).


• Afghanistan, under the rule of the Taliban, is in a rapidly deteriorating humanitarian crisis. All the gains made to advance democracy, human rights, and protection for ethnic groups are rapidly evaporating. Due to the deeply escalating violence and attacks against the Hazara people, the United Kingdom government must act swiftly now to protect the long-persecuted Hazaras people in Afghanistan.


Endorsed by the following organizations:


Hazara International

Australian Hazara Women’s Friendship Network

World Hazara Council

Salsal Association in Sweden

World Ismaili Hazara Network in Canada

Hazara Community Geelong, Victoria- Australia

Bamiyan Foundation




Note:

The Hazara Committee in the UK (HCUK) is a registered non-profitable organization working to create an inclusive platform for all Hazara communities across the UK to connect, cooperate and integrate into the wider society. Here at HCUK, we are committed to nurturing equality, inclusivity, peace, and unity. Since 2013, we have been supporting our community members in a variety of ways, from hosting educational and cultural events to philanthropy works for Afghanistan along with supporting Hazara refugees and individuals within our communities in the UK and around the world.


Hazara Committee in the UK represents Hazaras in Great Britain and is an advocate of Hazara rights around the world. HCUK aims to address the real challenges Hazaras are facing in Afghanistan and Pakistan and to provide clarity about Hazara people in these countries. We believe an innovative narrative is required to ensure Hazaras can defend their rights in Afghanistan and Pakistan.



Media Contact:

For further information, contact Hazara Committee in UK info@hazaracommittee.co.uk or

Hazara International info@hazarainternational.com



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