AIHRC: Attacks against Hazaras in Afghanistan

Note: this report is prepared at the official request of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in response to UN Human Rights Rapporteurs on the situation of the Hazaras in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) is mandated by the Afghan Constitution to promote and protect Human Rights in the country.

According to the Rome Statute, taking hostages and attacks against civilians are in grave violation of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols. Hence under the Geneva Conventions targeting civilians and taking hostages constitute cases of war crimes. In addition, attacks against civilians are in violation of the International Humanitarian law and human rights law.

Based on the data gathered by AIHRC since 1393 (2013/2014), the Hazaras in Afghanistan have been subject to various forms of violent attacks. More worryingly, the attacks have increased in 1395 (2015/2016) in comparison to previous years. According to AIHRC’s assessment, some of these attacks have specifically targeted one particular group based on their ethnicity and religion that is the Shia-Hazaras. While Daesh has claimed responsibility for most of these attacks, still there are attacks that no one has claimed responsibility for them.

AIHCR has constantly responded to these attacks by issuing press statements and have called on the Afghan government to take concrete measures to stop the spread of Islamic radicalization and protect its citizens. Moreover, AIHRC through these press releases has stated that; specifically targeting civilians constitutes war crimes and the perpetrators should be brought to justice. Unfortunately, most of the alleged perpetrators have not been brought to justice.

Despite the target killings of the Hazaras, both the Afghan Government officials as well as the Afghan population have not allowed these attacks to increase ethnic and religious tensions. Furthermore, civil society groups, human rights organizations, victims’ families and the Afghan security forces have reiterated …read more

From:: Hazara People