Shivajinagar, 22nd January 2024: The Hazara Students Association in India led demonstrations in Pune, Mysore, Hyderabad, and over 27 cities worldwide to advocate for an end to the Hazara genocide and gender apartheid in Afghanistan. The silent protest took place at Jain hostel near Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce (BMCC), Shivajinagar, on Sunday evening.
Abdul Hadi Haidari, president of the association, highlighted the plight of the Hazara people, constituting over one-fourth of Afghanistan’s population. He outlined their history of forced displacement, loss of land, mass killings, and targeted murders spanning more than a century. Despite being primary targets of violence, the Hazaras have maintained a presence in governmental offices and various military levels.
Haidari explained that following the collapse of the government in August 2021, the Taliban purged Hazaras entirely from governmental and military institutions. The policy of forced displacement and land seizure, initiated in 1887, resurfaced, with the Taliban confiscating the wealth of Hazara merchants. The Hazara community has been subjected to systematic and targeted killings, with reports of arbitrary arrests and widespread abductions of Hazara women and girls.
The protestors globally presented several demands to uphold the rights of all Afghans, especially the Hazara people:
1. Recognition of Hazara Genocide: Urged the United Nations and free nations to officially recognize the ‘Genocide of the Hazaras’ in Afghanistan. Advocated for the formation of investigative teams to hold criminals accountable through the International Criminal Court (ICC).
2. End to Crimes Against Humanity: Called on the UN Human Rights Council to pressure the Taliban to cease disorderly conditions and crimes against humanity. Demanded the immediate release of detained girls.
3. Accountability for Genocidal Acts: Urged the ICC to demand accountability and trial for those responsible for genocidal acts against the Hazara community, particularly the leaders of the Taliban.
4. Recognition of Gender Apartheid: Urged the UN and human rights organizations to recognize the Taliban’s actions, such as the abduction and detention of women, as ‘Gender Apartheid’ and ‘crimes against humanity.’ Advocated for perpetrators to face justice in international courts.
5. Cease Positive Engagement with Taliban: Declared the Taliban a terrorist group and called on the UN and global community to cease positive engagement, cut off aid, and hold them accountable for their crimes.
6. Transparent Aid Distribution: Urged the UN and international community to stop providing financial assistance to the Taliban under the name of Afghanistan people and ensure transparent and accountable distribution to each ethnic group.
7. Recognition of Hazara People’s Reality: Requested the UN to recognize the Hazara people as victims of ethnic discrimination and marginalization, urging support for their voice in consultations and decision-making.
The protests reflect the global outcry against the ongoing human rights violations and atrocities faced by the Hazara community in Afghanistan. The Hazara Students Association remains committed to raising awareness and seeking international intervention to address the crisis.