Persecution of Afghan minorities

Examples of Persecution



  • Taliban threaten second Afghan provincial capital as insurgency spreads – Al Jazeera – October 12, 2015 – “The clashes around Ghazni, some 80 miles southwest of Kabul, underlined the worsening security situation across Afghanistan, where government soldiers and police are struggling to cope with a string of Taliban gains in the aftermath of the withdrawal of most NATO forces last year… Many residents attempted to flee to Kabul, the capital, or nearby districts, adding to a growing number of internally displaced people in Afghanistan.”
  • Afghan Taliban’s Reach Is Widest Since 2001, U.N. Says – New York Times – October 11, 2015 “The Taliban insurgency has spread through more of Afghanistan than at any point since 2001, according to data compiled by the United Nations as well as interviews with numerous local officials in areas under threat. In addition, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan over the past two weeks has evacuated four of its 13 provincial offices around the country — the most it has ever done for security reasons — according to local officials in the affected areas.”
  • Afghan Sikhs, Hindus fear violence but long for home – Fulton News – October 9, 2015 – “At a Hindu temple in eastern Nangarhar province, a man ushered Anadolu Agency’s reporter into a corner to whisper: ‘please interview me, then I can seek asylum in the U.K. or any other European country.’ Despite his eagerness to leave, he immediately changed his mind, fearing that being named in any story could lead to reprisals from the Taliban or other factions.”
  • SIKH REFUGEES UNDER FIRE IN AFGHANISTAN – South Asian Post – October 9, 2015 – “In Kabul, Afghanistan’s Sikhs face relentless persecution. The forty families still living in their homes around Gurudwara Har Rai Sahib in Kabul’s Shore Bazaar rarely venture far from their dilapidated homes.”
  • Oppressed by Taliban, Afghan Sikh families seek help from DSGMC – Times of India – October 3, 2015 – “Taliban had forcibly occupied their cremation ground and schools due to which their children were not able to study, besides they were always gripped with fear of being kidnapped. Shamsher further informed that local Sikh and Hindu businessmen had to pay 12,000 Afghani per month jaziya (tax for non-Muslims) to Taliban warlords for safety while the local civil and police administration remained mute spectators towards their plight and instead express their helplessness… incidents of kidnapping of Sikhs and Hindus who didn’t pay “jaziya” and forcible conversion of minority community girls into Islam.”
  • Afghan Sikhs seek help from DSGMC to migrate to safety – Times of India – October 2, 2015 – “‘Our women has to wear burqa to go out in market places, we can’t visit our Gurdwara, many a times locals spit on our faces , they humiliate us for our jura (hair bun) , taunt us by saying Kafir’ said Shamsher Singh. He said Talibans had forcibly occupied their cremation ground as well as minority communities schools due to which their children were not able to go to school besides they were always gripped with fear of being kidnapped.”
  • Afghan refugees wonder, ‘what about us?’ – PRI – September 28, 2015
  • Afghanistan Sikhs narrate horrific tales of religious persecution by Taliban – September 23, 2015 – “Afghanistan’s dwindling Sikh community complained of widespread discrimination from the overwhelming Muslim majority. They can’t work freely, their children cannot go to schools and locals stone or spit on the men in the streets. Moreover, they can’t cremate their dead because Muslims regard the cremation of the dead as a sacrilege. An Afghanistan Sikh, Kulraj Singh, was abducted by Taliban for ransom and endured physical torture in their custody for 40 days. The resurgence of the Taliban is making their lives worse: the highways are more dangerous with a new spate of suicide bombings and a resurgence of fundamentalist Islam is making their differences from Afghans more pronounced.”
  • ‘Tortured’ Afghan Sikhs came to India for help – Times of India – September 23, 2015 – “‘They used to torture me, cut my hair and kept me without food for days. For 17 days, I couldn’t see sun and for three days they kept me in neck-deep water demanding money and forcing me to convert to Islam,'” he alleged, adding that kidnapping of Hindus and Sikhs in Afghanistan was a common thing.”
  • Calgary MLA urges government to lift refugee restrictions – Metro – September 9, 2015
  • Afghan-Sikhs count their days in Afghanistan – oneindia – June 12, 2015
  • Feeling alienated, Sikhs choose to leave Afghanistan – The Hindu – June 10, 2015
  • Afghanistan: Humanitarian needs continue to grow – Red Cross – May 12, 2015
  • Afghanistan: Concern over growing number of civilian casualties – Red Cross – April 30, 2015
  • Facing Intolerance, Many Sikhs and Hindus Leave Afghanistan – Wall Street Journal – January 12, 2015
  • Why are Afghan Sikhs desperate to flee to the UK? – BBC – September 4, 2014
  • Dark days continue for Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan – Hindustan Times – August 22, 2014
  • Explainer: Who are the Afghan Sikhs? – The Conversation – August 20, 2014
  • Afghan Sikhs: one of the most vulnerable minorities in the world – The Telegraph – August 17, 2014
  • Afghan refugees in Iran face abuse, says HRW – BBC – November 20, 2013: “In a report published on Wednesday, HRW says thousands of Afghans have been summarily deported from Iran without a hearing of their right to remain. Thousands of Afghans enter Iran illegally every year. About 2.4 million Afghans are resident in the country.”
  • Afghan refugees: the untold story – The International News – July 28, 2012: “In recent years, ‘voluntary’ repatriation of refugees to Afghanistan has featured as a success story in the United Nations’ discourse. Official documents celebrate it as the largest repatriation of a refugee population in modern history. Pakistan, which was once home to at least 2.5 million Afghan refugees, had witnessed over 1.2 million of them return to the country of origin by 2002. However, by the year 2008, UNHCR was to report a ‘slow-down in the return movement’, which the agency attributed to ‘deterioration in security inside Afghanistan, the slow pace of social development, and the fact that over 80 percent of the remaining refugees had been in exile for more than two decades’. This admission alone exposes serious fault lines in the discourse of ‘durable solutions’ generally, and within the context of Afghan refugees in particular.”
  • The Story of the Afghan Refugee – Inter Press Service – July 21, 2012: “As of April 2012, an estimated 427,000 returnees have been identified as internally displaced persons and another 150,000 returnees are estimated to become [Internally Displaced Persons] IDP’s. Many Afghan refugees are returning home but the return home is met with the struggle to find employment, food and the ability to meet daily needs.”
  • Afghan refugees forced to return home – Washington Post – “More than 8 million Afghans fled to Pakistan between 1979 and 2002. At least half of them have returned since 2001, attracted by the promise of a post-Taliban Afghanistan. When that transition proved rocky, many fled once again, the allure of home dimmed by protracted conflict.”

International Organizations