Germany expresses concern over continued violence against Hazaras
Following the online campaign #StopHazaraGenocide, the German Embassy in Afghanistan has expressed concern regarding the continued violence against the Hazaras. “We are dismayed by the unjustifiable continuation of violence against Afghan civilians and in particular also the Hazara community,” the German Embassy said in a tweet on Sunday, June 06.
To advocate for the Hazaras and ask for national and international recognition of a “genocide” threat against the ethnic group, a large number of Afghan social media users and as well as nationals of other countries joined the hashtag campaign #StopHazaraGenocide on Saturday, June 05.
The hashtag has been used more than 40 thousand times on the twitter worldwide.
“We are part of crime and injustice if we do not raise our voice against it,” former Minister of Mines and Petroleum Nargis Nehan tweeted joining the hashtag campaign.
Kate Clanchy, a British writer and teacher, also joined the campaign by sharing stories of her students. “My student @SRezaei6 fled Taliban violence for the UK 10 years ago. Now she’s a graduate and campaigning to #StopHazaraGenocide. Please follow her and read the thread below,” she wrote on twitter.
The campaign was launched after targeted violence against the ethnic identity group intensified dramatically which claimed scores of lives from the community.
In the latest targeted violence against the ethnic group, at least eight civilians were killed and 10 others wounded after two minibuses were hit by two separate blast in west Kabul – mostly populated by the Hazaras. The incident took place on Thursday’s evening, June 03.
Masih Alinejad, an Iranian journalist and activist, wrote that the Hazara ethnic and religious minority has faced discrimination and been subjected to murder and systematic killings. “We fully support our Hazara sisters and brothers in Afghanistan. Together, we’re stronger.”
Hundreds of ethnic Hazaras have been killed in various suicide bombings, target killings, and hostage-takings by Sunni militant groups in Afghanistan since July 2014. They were targeted along the highways, inside hospitals, mosques, shrines, schools, and other public spaces. “Students, Women during childbirth, Newborns, Health personnel, Worshipers, Passengers, All civilians – were killed because they are Hazara,” said Suraya Dalil, Ambassador of Afghanistan to the UN Geneva.
At least 90 civilians, mostly Hazara school girls aged 13 to 18, were killed and around 240 others wounded after a car bomb was detonated outside Sayed ul-Shuhada High School followed by two consecutive landmine blasts in a western neighborhood of the capital Kabul. The incident took place on May 08 when the students were leaving their school for home. No group claimed responsibility for the attack.
Beyond the hashtag campaign, a protest rally was held on the same day, June 05, in Washington DC, calling for an end to the killing of Hazaras. Noorjahan Akbar, a participant of the rally, put a video footage of the rally on her twitter saying that Hazaras neighborhoods and schools are targeted in deadly attacks almost in weekly basis in Afghanistan. “The world must acknowledge the genocide of Hazaras and take actionable steps to protect them. I’m proud to stand with my community in DC to say #StopHazaraGenocide,” she wrote.
Though the hashtag went viral in Afghanistan and widely covered by some national and international media outlets, the Afghan government – as a prime target of the campaign – has remained tightlipped regarding the demands of the campaigners.