For Immediate Release: 18th October 2021
On Monday,October 18th2021, Hazara diaspora communities across the world will join with 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 400 to 2000 from 15 different villages. In the Nawmesh district of Helmand, about 2000 families have been forcibly displaced.
In the past two weeks, there have been two deadly attacks against Shi’a Hazaras. The attack on the Shia Mosque in Kandahar on 15 October 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 other sat a Shi’a Mosque in Kunduz, on 8th October 2021.
These latest rounds of attacks mark a deeply 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. The Hazara community has never known safety whilst the Taliban have reigned.Despite the ongoing and acute dangers faced by the Hazara people, the international community, including the UK Government, has been largely silent.
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 Council of Great Britain
Australian Hazara Women’s Friendship Network
World Hazara Council
Salsal Association in Sweden
World Ismaili Hazara Network in Canada
Hazara Community Geelong, Victoria- Australia
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.