Consultation Conference with Civil Society Organizations and Victims of February 10, 1993 Massacre in Afshar, Kabul
The “ Consultation Conference with Civil Society Organizations and Victims of February 10, 1993 Massacre in Afshar, Kabul” was the title of a conference conducted by Afghanistan Watch in its Kabul main office on May 26, 2011. This was the second conference from the series of consultative conferences organized by Afghanistan Watch. The first consultative conference was conducted in Hirat city on May 02, 2011 attended by Hirat based civil society organizations and victims of the March 15, 1979 massacre in Hirat. These conferences make part of Afghanistan Watch “massacre documentation” program. The objective is to collect feedbacks and recommendations from civil society organizations and victims while documenting the massacres.
TheConsultation conference on Afshar Massacre was designed for one day. The conference was started by welcoming remarks from Abdul Jalil Benish, chairman of Afghanistan Watch. Mr. Benish while briefing on objectives of the conference and Afghanistan Watch documentation program, said:” though in current situation of Afghanistan this isn’t easy to document massacres committed in the country but, if we want to address past grievances and collect evidence on the past conflicts, we have to tolerate all difficulties ahead of documentation and with understanding the value of time, try our best to avoid elimination of evidences and documents.”
He added:” Afghanistan Watch has identified 15 major massacres committed in Afghanistan during the last decades and is planning to schedule their documentation. Currently the Organization is working on documentation of Hirat March 15, 1979 massacre, Afshar massacre, and Mazar –e Sharif massacre. Fortunately, our work on these cases has been quite successful so far. We congratulate this success as an important step towards securing justice, for justice seekers of Afghanistan, Afghan human rights and civil society activists, victims and the people of Afghanistan.”
Mr. Rahimullah Rameh, head of Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission/ Transitional Justice Kabul Regional Office was the other speaker of the conference who spoke on behalf of Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. He said:” after the Afshar massacre Afghanistan Islamic State that was ruling the country by the time, admitted the massacre and paid 15000 AFN to each victim family to relieve their pains.”
Mr. Hussain Saramad who was representing the Civil Society and Human Rights Network (an active institution working for transitional justice) said in his presentation that:” the government is not interested to support transitional justice process in the country and Afshar massacre can be a good example of the government negligence. The massacre was committed in the last decades and so far the government has done nothing in this regar.”
Mahammad Bashir, one of the victim participants of the conference shared his story. He explained how he was arrested, spent eight months in custody and what kind of tortures and pain he experienced while being in custody. When asked by one of the participants if he was ready to forgive the criminals, he said: “never” and added that first I request the government to investigate and prosecute criminals of Afshar massacre as well those who tortured me. If the government fails to do so, I myself will revenge whenever I am able to do. I still suffer from memories of Afshar massacre and the tortures I have experienced. Whenever, I think about it I am seriously in pain.