Screenshot from UN Web TV

Activist raises Hazara Genocide at UN Human Rights Council meeting

Activist Sitara Mohammadi from the Human Rights Center of Australia raised the Hazara Genocide at the 53rd UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva which began Monday, stating that Hazaras are facing a “slow-motion genocide” under the Taliban rule.

Mohammadi highlighted that women and ethnic and religious minorities are particularly at risk since the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August 2021, saying that the Taliban authorities have launched a “systematic campaign” against human rights that affects all liberal groups, women, and different ethnic groups, including the Hazaras.

“While Afghanistan is a land of ethnic minorities among the various victims of the Taliban’s repressive rule, it is important to recognize the genocidal and systematic persecution endured by the Hazara people, a religious minority,” she said.

“Recognising the systematic persecution of Hazaras should lead to meaningful steps to document these abuses and protect the Hazaras from further repression, dispossession, and marginalization.”

Mohammadi also stressed that the Hazaras are suffering from “systematic and structural” discrimination and exclusion at the local and national levels, indicating that political representatives of Hazaras have shrunk under the Taliban who Mohammadi accused of diverting humanitarian aid from Hazara areas to “reward their supporters in other areas.”

According to Mohammadi, there is a “genocidal displacement” ongoing against Hazaras as the Taliban intends to forcefully displace them from their ancestral lands across several provinces.

Mohammadi emphasized that Hazara women are particularly at risk and experience “extra layers of vulnerability” due to the intersectional factors of gender, religion, and ethnicity.

She urged the UN Human Rights Council and the UN Security Council to initiate an independent investigation into the systematic discrimination and persecution of Hazaras in Afghanistan, recognize the genocidal nature of it, and do whatever it can to prevent further atrocities against the community.

In May, a seminar was hosted by Canadian parliamentarians and coordinated by a group of Hazara advocates at the Canadian parliament in the capital Ottawa to discuss the ongoing Hazara Genocide and other atrocities against the group in Afghanistan and call for national support.

In early 2022, Hazara Inquiry, a cross-party parliamentary inquiry was launched in the UK by both Houses and experts to reveal atrocities against and promote justice for the Hazaras in Afghanistan and Pakistan

In November of that year, Dandenong City Council in southeast Melbourne, Australia was believed to be the world’s first government body to recognize the genocide of Hazaras in Afghanistan after a motion was tabled a month earlier.