Hazara International Network note: Hazaras are not Afghan. We do respect all ethnic groups in Afghanistan. But we the Hazaras have our own culture and history. Afghan or Pashtun is another ethnic group currently living in south and east Afghanistan and a part of Pakistan.
Hazara people are Turkic people and descendants of the Kushans. There are also Mongol influences in ten percent of Hazaras. Hazara People are living in Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, India and central Asian countries like Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. Millions of Hazara people were and are forced to leave their homeland, the country we call Afghanistan now.
Refugee Rights Action Network WA
Afghan, Hazara’s are an ethnic minority originating in Afghanistan. According to the World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples ‘they were once the largest Afghan ethnic group constituting nearly 67% of the total population of the state before the 19th century. More than half were massacred in 1893 when their autonomy was lost as a result of political action. Today they constitute approximately 9% of the Afghan population.”¹
Hazaras have been persecuted for many, many years as a result of their religious beliefs and a difference in ethnicity. They have for generations been sold into slavery, discriminated against, denied services and had their lands pillaged and seized.¹
The government continually tries to propagate that Afghanistan is safe to return to but accounts of people being deported back there speak otherwise.
Cynthia Banham reported in The Advertiser of how an Afghan asylum seeker had his claim rejected under the Howard government was deported back to a Southern Province of Kabul.
“The man, Mohammed Hussain, was thrown down a well by gunmen, believed to be the Taliban. Then in front of onlookers including members of his family, the killers threw a hand grenade down the well and he was decapitated.”²
With the forces of the Taliban and international military presence, Hazara’s face severe persecution and oppression, this is why many of them are forced to flee and why it is unsafe for them to be sent back.
¹Minority Rights Group International, World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples – Afghanistan : Hazaras, 2008. (http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/49749d693d.html [accessed 23 December 2011)
² Cynthia Banham. Beheaded after trying for asylum in Australia in The Cessnock Advertiser 2008. (http://www.cessnockadvertiser.com.au/news/national/national/general/beheaded-after-trying-for-asylum-in-australia/1349266.aspx)