Terrorist attack on a Shiite wedding ceremony in Kabul
Germany should finally acknowledge persecution of the Shiite Hazara (Press Release)
--- Göttingen, August 18, 2019 --- Following a severe terrorist attack on a Shiite wedding ceremony in Afghanistan, the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) demanded that Germany should stop the extraditions of members of the Shiite Hazara, emphasizing that the Hazara must be recognized as an ethnic and religious minority that is systematically persecuted in Afghanistan. "Our politicians must no longer look the other way if people are deliberately murdered by Sunni extremists only because of their faith or their ethnic origin. How many more innocent school pupils, mourners, and wedding guests will have to die before the Hazara are finally recognized as a persecuted people," asked Ulrich Delius, the STP's director, in Göttingen on Sunday.
On Saturday night, at least 63 people were killed and 182 were injured in a bomb attack on a Hazara wedding party in Kabul, the Afghan capital. The Sunni extremists of the so-called Islamic State are known to commit terrorist attacks on schools, funerals, and wedding parties of the Shiite minority in order to fuel conflicts between Sunnis and Shiites. Every year, around 500 Hazara die in terrorist attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The STP emphasized that the Shiite minority must be better protected from violent attacks, and that those who are responsible for the attacks must be held accountable. "It is unacceptable that people are systematically attacked by Sunni extremists only because of their beliefs or their ethnic origin. Afghanistan's security forces are failing to protect the minority. The Hazara cannot feel safe in their home country Afghanistan," Delius stated.
On August 7, 2019, a total number of 30 Hazara were killed and 26 were injured in a terrorist attack in the city of Herat. In several attacks on Persian New Year celebrations in March 2019, six Shiites were killed and more than 20 were injured – and in August 2018, a total number of 48 people were killed and 67 were injured in a suicide attack on a school that is mainly attended by Hazara children.
Header image: James Solly via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0