End of the airlift from Afghanistan

Remaining Hindus and Sikhs must be evacuated (Press Release)

The Society for Threatened Peoples has demanded the German Federal Government to help the around 170 Hindus and Sikhs remaining in Kabul, even after the end of the airlift. "Germany and its partner countries have an obligation – in addition to getting out the local staff and human rights advocates – to protect members of religious and ethnic minorities. Thus, the Federal Government must ensure that the few Hindus and Sikhs remaining in Kabul will be able to leave the country, and grant them shelter in Germany," stated Hanno Schedler, STP expert on genocide prevention and the Responsibility to Protect, in Göttingen on Friday. "Further, the Afghan Hindus and Sikhs who are already living here need consular advice from the Ministry of the Interior, because the diplomatic mission of Afghanistan is currently not working." Yesterday, the STP had appealed to the Ministry of the Interior to get in contact with the Central Council of the Afghan Hindus and Sikhs in Germany, which has its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main. 

Members of the religious minorities in Afghanistan are not only threatened by the Taliban, but also by the so-called Islamic State (IS). Over the last few years, several Shiite Hazara, Hindus, and Sikhs died in terrorist attacks. On March 25, 2020, an IS commando had attacked a Sikh temple in the capital Kabul, killing at least 25 believers. There are only a few hundred Sikhs remaining in Afghanistan – of a total number of around 250.000 in the 1980s. All the others fled the country during the last few decades. Even after the NATO intervention of 2001, they suffered from religious discrimination such as restrictions on their funeral rites.