Friday, May 14, 2010

"Victims' Jirga"

Victims of Afghan wars demand justice before peace

Sayed Ali Attayii lost four uncles during more than 30 years of war in Afghanistan, two under the communist regime of the 1980s and two at the hands of the Taliban.

The 30-year-old says no one has ever been brought to justice for their deaths, something he believes must come before a planned government drive to make peace with the Taliban militants laying siege to his country.


The gathering at Pul-e-Charkhi, site of a mass grave for victims of the violence that followed a 1978 communist coup, was part of a three-day "victims' jirga," or meeting, held this week to give a voice to ordinary people.

It was organised by the Transitional Justice Coordination Group, a local human rights organisation that believes peace in Afghanistan will only be possible once the perpetrators of past crimes have been brought to justice.

"Afghanistan is a land of victims and I don't want the next generation to be buried as ours has been," said the group's president, Bisharat, who uses just one name.

"Reconciliation is not possible without justice," added Bisharat, calling for open and transparent hearings for armed groups and an end to Afghanistan's "culture of impunity". Continued

No comments: