Report from the Provincial Conference “Meaningful Presence of Vulnerable Minorities in the Peace Process”, Bamyan Province, October 24, 2020.

The conference was organized by the Civil Society and Human Rights Network(CSHRN), and Human Rights and Eradication of Organization(HREVO) with more than seventy participants comprising Sadat, Qizilbash, Shia Ismaili religious minorities, civil society activists, media and journalists, provincial officials including the Bamyan governor, Representative of the Provincial Council, Representative of the Police Department, Head of Ethnic and Tribal Border Office, Field Officer of the Afghanistan Human Rights Commission, University Professors, Students and Educators, and Mr. Abdul Wadood Pedram, Executive Director of HREVO, held at the Highland Hotel in Bamyan.The conference began with a recitation of the Holy Quran by one of the participants and then Ismail Zaki, on behalf of CSHRN and HREVO, talked about the goals of the conference and the research conducted by both the organizations in nine provinces, and presented a research report to the audience.Afterward, the Governor of Bamyan, Sayed Anwar "Rahmati", discussed the issue and while appreciating the conference said that, "All Afghans want peace, and the government is using every opportunity to achieve it. The release of some of the most dangerous members of the Taliban indicates the goodwill of the Afghan government. But we will not neglect our two decades’ achievements and defend them with all our might”Subsequently, Mr. Mohammad Sajjad Mohseni, the spokesman of the Bamyan Ulama Council, talked about tolerance from the Islamic point of view and said: " Islam emphasizes tolerance and peaceful coexistence, and advises its followers to be tolerant and forgiving."Afterward, Mr. Haji Asadi, a representative of the Provincial Council, emphasized on maintaining unity and integrity among all segments of society and considered maintaining the republican system as one of the duties of all citizens. "We have no choice but to support this system and there is no other alternative", said Mr. Asadi.Following him, Mr. Mohammad…

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The Voice of Peace from Badakhshan Province, in the Midst of War

On October 19, 2020, Civil Society and Human Rights Network (CSHRN) in collaboration with Human Rights and Eradication of Violence Organization (HREVO) held a one-day conference titled “Meaningful Presence of Non-Dominant Minorities in the Afghan Peace Process” in Faizabad, the capital of Badakhshan province.The conference was attended by 80 people, including local government officials, provincial council’s representatives, civil society activists, local elders of the Afghan Kyrgyz, Wakhi, Gujar, Baluch, Nuristani, and Sadat minorities.Akhtar Mohammad Khairzadah, Deputy Governor of Badakhshan; Arefa Navid, the provincial Chair of Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission; Mohammad Zaker Arian, the provincial council member; Adina Mohammad Amini, president of Barna University; Sais Nouri, Safiullah Zarifi, and BagGul Khalili, professors at the Badakhshan University spoke to the conference. During the conference, HREVO’s researcher, Ali Payam Naderi, shared the findings of the research on the voices of non-dominant minorities in the peace process.  Among the panelists, Storai Yazdanparast, Deputy of Civil Society in Badakhshan; Abdul Rahman Mahmoodi, the Baluch’s minority influential leader; Sultan Mohammad, the Chairman of the Wakhan Kyrgyz Council; Zahed, the Kochi’s Coordinator; and Sayed Javad Darvasian, the provincial Coordinator of CSHRN in Badakhshan also attended the conference.CSHRN’s statement was also presented at the conference by Mr. Darvazian which was followed by questions and answers from the participants. Importantly note that the program is supported by the European Union Afghanistan Peace Support Mechanism (EUAPSM).

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Press Release Regarding the Terrorist Attack on Sikh Religious Minority in Afghanistan

The CSHRN accounts the brutal suicide attack on the Sikh religious minority in Afghanistan unacceptable and is highly concerned about the rise of such heinous attack targeting the religious minorities in the country. Such acts are not only against the principles of Human Rights and the International Humanitarian law, but also it is in direct contradiction with the overt provisions of holy Islam. The suicide attack took place on Sikh ethnic minority in Kabul on March 25, which culminated in 30 deaths and injuries including men, women, and children once again proved that terrorists do not recognize any norms and values. In the meantime, this attack manifested the vulnerability of the religious minorities in the country and impress the need that: The Afghan government must immediately investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice; The security sector must take preventive measures to stop such attacks in the future; The respective institutions must promptly provide all the humanitarian aid necessary to the victims of this abhorrent attack. Civil Society and Human Rights Network and Human Rights and Eradication of Violence Organization Kabul, Afghanistan March 26, 2020

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Press Release by the Civil Society and Human Rights Network (CSHRN) on Recent Crises in the Country.

Resolving post-election disputes, unconditional ceasefire, and an reduction in aid from friendly countries to Afghanistan is an urgent need to prevent the escalation of the crises in the country. Press Release by the Civil Society and Human Rights Network (CSHRN) on recent Crises in the country As a common threat to all human beings, the COVID-19 virus is rapidly spilling over everywhere in the world and Afghanistan. Due to protected armed conflict, Afghanistan has lost its infrastructure, the country is now on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe more than any other time in the past. The spread of the COVID-19 virus has crossed all political, ethnic, religious and ideological lines and is threatening the country as a whole. Although official statistics confirmed only 42 infectious cases so far, the assumption is presumably much higher than announced.  On the other hand, the post-electoral disputes between the two forerunning electoral teams have diverted attention to contain the crises, paving further instability and diminishing global confidence on the Afghan government. As the biggest supporter of the Afghan government, the U.S. Department of State has recently warned that it will cut $1 billion in aid to Afghanistan as the result of political disputes between the two electoral rivals. This has added further concerns to the already problems in Afghanistan. Based on these considerations, therefore, the CSHRN, as a premier organization for civil and human rights in the country, recommends to all parties (government, political parties, the Taliban, and the international community): Now is the best time for an unconditional ceasefire in the country. To prevent a humanitarian crisis and to save the lives of their own people, the Afghan government and the Taliban must declare a ceasefire without any preconditions until the end of the crisis stemmed from the spread of…

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Consultation with the civil society organizations on the situation of minorities in Afghanistan

At the beginning of the new chapter of its activities, Civil Society and Human Rights Network (CSHRN) has begun to address the legal status of minorities as one of its priorities. On this occasion, on October 27, 2019, CSHRN held a consultation meeting with a number of civil society activists, elites and university professors. The participants discussed their views, criticisms and suggestions on the situation of minorities and ethnicities in Afghanistan. In this program, they shared views regarding the discrimination in the laws (written and unwritten) culture, society, politics and economy of Afghanistan. It was emphasized in the program that eliminating ethnic, linguistic, and religious discrimination is the government’s basic responsibility in eradicating any kind of supremacy through enacting laws and other mechanisms. According to these activists, discrimination is structured to the extent that divides the citizens into first, second and third degrees. When a province is put in the third degree, then that province is two level lower than the first degree provinces in terms of development, and welfare. Development of health, education, economy and culture of that province is the third priority. This in turn has caused population congestion in the first degree provinces and has transformed the productive force into a consumer force in the first provinces. Through its constructive advocacy and engagement with the government, CSHRN is determined to co-ordinate minority rights programs.

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Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

Hassan Ali Faiz The United Nations, passed the most important international document prohibiting discrimination against women under the name of "Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women" on 18 December 1979 over 34 /180 Resolution of the United Nations General Assembly and made acceptance of it mandatory by the member states of this organization. This document is the most important international human rights document that has been developed in order to promote and fulfill women's rights.  Afghanistan joined Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in 2003 and managed the implementation of the Convention in 2010 to the Committee's report. Of course Afghanistan has already joined other documents such as the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that emphasis on the equality of genders and rejection of gender-based discriminatory attitudes. Afghanistan's constitution, with consideration that women’s status is high, prohibits any kind of discrimination and distinction between men and women and pays special attention to the status of women and their right to participate in governance, social, political, cultural and economic activities. The government has made many legislative documents in respect to women's rights, and ensures appropriate grounds for the progression of woman's personality and providing her reserved rights. For the first time, the issue of equality of women and men was introduced in the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" and then the other human rights conventions one after another endorsed this equality. On 7 November 1967,  the United Nations General Assembly passed’’ Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women "in one preamble and 11 articles and then, in December 1979 " Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women " was passed by the UN General Assembly. The article came into force on September 3, 1981 in accordance with paragraph 1 of Article 27 of this Convention. Brief introduction of Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Target The aim of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms…

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National Unity Government’s Reconciliation with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar The prospects for peace, justice and human rights in Afghanistan Civil Society and Human Rights Network Afghanistan

Context Peace talks with the Taliban and other insurgent groups who are fighting the Afghan government, has been the essential part of Afghan government policy since 2001. Despite the efforts of nearly one a half decades and many political and financial investment for peace process, violent conflict has been intensified leaving enormous military and civilian casualties. Issue of peace talk with the Taliban is frequently raised in winter (No-war season) by media, but without tangible results, another war season arrives and the Taliban continue to fight Afghan government and people with more power and casualties. In spite of more than a decade of efforts to reconcile with the Taliban and reach sustainable peace, it seems no tangible result and even no positive prospect for peace and stability. However, National Unity Government (NUG) signed a peace agreement with Mr. Hekmatyar recently which apparently signals a practical step towards peace process and reconciliation. Despite having wide media coverage, it has indicate less concerns neither about victims of conflict nor views of Afghan civil society and human rights peace activists. The recent peace agreement and extra order of president to implement it along with comparing to the Afghan government’s international human rights commitments and obligations have raised questions, concerns and arguments for civil society, human rights organizations and also the victims of human rights violation. Therefore, Afghan civil society organizations and human rights activist want to discuss and open up a dialogue on issues related to the recent peace agreement. The international human commitments of Afghan government in one hand and negligence of the victim’s rights in recent peace agreement, women’s participation in the peace process, prospects for national reconciliation and peace in the country as well as the consequences of political, security and negligence of human rights values in the…

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Afghan organizations and Civil Society Activists Statement about “Joint way Forward” Union Treaty between Afghanistan and Europe on the return and deportation of asylum seekers and refugees, from Europe

In the name of Almighty Allah Afghan organizations and Civil Society Activists Statement about "Joint way Forward" Union Treaty between Afghanistan and Europe on the return and deportation of asylum seekers and refugees, from Europe October 20, 2016 Kabul, Afghanistan Afghan immigration and refugees is once again at the top of the political agenda. It has been a hot topic for many decades now. Unfortunately, as a result of a long and terrible wars in Afghanistan, millions of Afghans have had to flee various conflicts. Today Afghans make up the second largest refugee population in Europe after Syria. Alone in 2015, around 196,170 sought asylum in Europe. Those who have fled Afghanistan recently include unaccompanied Afghan youth (the largest national group in Europe), families and other vulnerable groups of people. Seeking safety, work to allow them to survive, and hope for their secured future, they risked a dangerous journey to reach Europe. Many families lost their loved ones en route. Whole families were drowned, and young boys have been beaten, sexually assaulted, tear gassed, robbed and shot crossing Iranian, Turkish and European borders. There were many Afghans among the 4,000 people were drowned in 2015 in the Mediterranean Sea, and the 3,000+ have lost their lives until October 2016. In spite of all these risks, many Afghans reached Europe, especially a large number of Afghan refugees and immigrants, according to the immigration policies of Angela Merkel, the German Prime Minister, to undertake difficulties abound, reached Germany where at first they were welcomed. However, other countries failed to show the same generosity as Mrs. Merkel, and so Germany received almost all the Afghans coming in the last year, plus many, many Syrians. Gradually, immigration policies of Angela Merkel, the German Prime Minister, was under internal pressures. As a result of…

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Call for Afghan organizations and civil society activists the political representatives of the United Nations, the Government of National Unity and the enlighting movement On the negotiations to get a fair solution

 In the Name of Almighty AllahCall for Afghan organizations and civil society activists the political representatives of the United Nations, the Government of National Unity and the enlighting movement  On the negotiations to get a fair solutionSeptember 19, 2016  Kabul, AfghanistanGiven the troubles due to new developments in security and foreign policy, national unity government based on regional cooperation, in particular to strengthen relations with countries like India, which circles the pro-Taliban and terrorist groups in the region are considered as a threat and serious abstraction. Enemies of Afghanistan will not hesitate in the creation of any disaster and damage to the system and the people of Afghanistan.With the expectation of a successful transition of this situation, to safeguard the stability of the system and prevent another humanitarian catastrophe, that might be sacrifice of military and civilians seeking justice, hence requires the leadership of the national unity government and the enlighting movement, by more farseeing and restraint, to enter a new phase of negotiations and their concepts, to reach a fair solution.On the basis of Afghan institutions and civil society activists, to prevent another human catastrophe and to the formation of a new phase of dialogue and understanding among the conventional National Unity Government and the enlighting movement, the present calls to discuss with the following provisions:1- Organizations and Afghan civil society activists, suggest that the government and the Supreme Council of the popular movement, the enlighting movement, will discuss their creation of a transparent mechanism for negotiations, enunciated the honor and the process of direct negotiations, mediated by the representative of United Nations in Afghanistan and the regulatory community of Civil society organizations to be accepted; 2- Afghan organizations and civil society activists, the political representatives of the United Nations in Afghanistan, requests  given its essential role in maintaining peace…

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Announcement For All Civil Society activists and Representatives, Interested in Participating to Brussels Conference on Afghanistan

(Brussels, Belgium 4-5 October 2016) On October 4th -5th , the European Union and the government of Afghanistan will co-host the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan .This is an open competition for all Afghan Civil Society activists and advocates throughout the country interested in representing Afghan Civil Society in the conference. Since May 2016, the Civil Society Working Committee (SCWC), composed by a group of NGOs, networks and Civil Society umbrella organizations, is working in close collaboration with the British and Irish Group for Afghanistan (BAAG) to: Enable an Afghan delegation of 10 Civil Society representatives to the BCA Develop the Afghan Civil Society’s position paper at the BCA Enhance Afghan civil society’s advocacy efforts and interactions with the Nation Unity Government and the international community after the BCA. How to apply Interested applicants should comply with the set of criteria detailed below and send their application (CV+ cover letter) to the SCWC secretariat by 00:00 hrs, 17 August 2016 Applications should be sent by email to the secretariat to the following email addresses: civilsociety.bca@gmail.com  and civilsociety@yahooweb.com Selection process Ten representatives will be selected. To ensure transparency, the selection jury will be assigned by the Civil Society Working Committee and composed of representatives from the Civil Society. The Jury will be observed by two additional independent bodies: United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). Requirements Through its broad consultation with national NGOs and civil society groups, a set of criteria was developed by SCWC. All civil society applicants are kindly advised to strictly follow the below criteria before sending their applications: Afghan with valid travel document: All CS representatives, who have valid passport (minimum 6 months validity), can apply. Possessing of valid travel documents is the sole responsibility of the applicant.…

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