Victims’ families: UN must probe attack on girls school

KABUL (Agencies): The families of victims of the girls’ school bombing in Dasht-e-Barchi in Kabul have called on international organizations to investigate the attack.
About 40 days after the attack on the Sayeed-ul-Shuhada school in which hundreds of people including school girls were killed or wounded, the families of victims stated that the culprits have not yet been identified and the Afghan forces failed to maintain security in the west of the city. They also called on the international community to recognize the attack as an act of “genocide” as a specific ethnicity was targeted in the incident.
Sabr Gul Alizada, a student of Sayeed-ul-Shuhada, stated: “all human rights organizations, the EU, the United Nations, and other international bodies have to recognize this incident as genocide in order to condemn this attack. Mohammad Saqi, the grandfather of one of the victims, called on the government to maintain security so that students could pursue their education.
“I wish, we would not witness the loss of our loved ones again. We just want security,” he said. Mohammad Mohaqiq, President Ashraf Ghani’s political and security adviser, last week called on the UN Security Council to recognize the attacks on the Hazara community during the last few years in Afghanistan as an act of genocide.
Mohaqiq in a statement said that the attacks on civilians are not justified and is “a clear example of crime against humanity and genocide.” Highlighting attacks on Sayeed-ul-Shuhada High School, Dasht-e-Barchi Maternity Ward, Maiwand Wrestling club and several attacks during prayers in Mosques, Mohaqiq said:
“People who are killed in schools and educational and other centers were civilians, harmless and children, and their massacre has no justification and is a clear example of a crime against humanity and genocide.” He noted that the UN Security Council (UNSC) should take precautionary measures against such attacks. “The UNSC should recognize the killing of Hazaras as an act of genocide and the perpetrators should be subjected to sanctions,” Mohaqiq said. Earlier, Tomas Niklasson, Special Envoy of the European Union for Afghanistan, also stated that “targeting Hazaras” must be stopped. “Targeting Hazaras must stop and crimes be investigated,” he said.
Meanwhile, the German Embassy in Afghanistan stated: “We are dismayed by the unjustifiable continuation of violence against Afghan civilians and in particular also the Hazara community.” “Our thoughts are with the victims and the grieving families. Violence must stop – Afghans deserve peace,” the embassy stated.
The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) had also called on the Afghan government to grant special protection to Hazaras and the community in Dasht-e-Barchi. The AIHRC stated that it was the government’s duty to protect the Hazara community against crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, or genocide.
The AIHRC stated that government has an obligation to “protect the population at risk of war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing or genocide.” “The Afghan government has an obligation under International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Human Rights Law to protect the population at risk of war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing or genocide and international law obliges the government to take measures to end and prevent genocide and war crimes, crimes against humanity and persecution on the basis of ethnicity and gender,” the statement read.