Consultation Conference with Civil Society Organizations and Victims of Mazar –e Sharif Massacre in July 1998
The “Consultation Conference with Civil Society Organizations and Victims of Mazar –e Sharif 1377 Massacre” was the title of another conference conducted by Afghanistan Watch at the regional office of Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission in Mazar –e Sharif on June 02, 2011. This was the third 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. The second conference was conducted on May 26, 2011 in Kabul main office to get feedbacks regarding Afshar massacre. 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.
The Consultation conference was designed for one day. Almost fifty participants representing victims and civil society organizations attended the conference. 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:” for making a stable peace in Afghanistan we need to do justice. In the absence of justice and neglecting the past grievances there won’t be any stable peace. We should not let the government to turn immunity into a culture. For making a stable and just Afghanistan we need to break the chain of immunity and stop recurrence of crimes. Unfortunately, for the time being the Afghan government is avoiding the responsibility. This is the Afghan civil society organizations and Afghan people that must do their best for securing justice and stopping recurrence of the disasters.”
Mr. Mottaqi, head of Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission/ Transitional Justice Mazar –e Sharif Regional Office was the other speaker of the conference who spoke on behalf of Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. He said:” role of justice in making peace and security has been experienced in most of the countries and Afghanistan also as a country with serious need to peace and security should not ignore the best practices of other countries in this regard. “
Mrs. Naseema Azkiya who spoke on behalf of the Civil Society and Human Rights Network in Mazar –e Sharif highlighted the role of peace and justice in stabilizing the country and said:” peace can sustain with securing justice and we should try to do justice in order to make a permanent peace.”
Another part of the conference was allocated for victims to share their painful stories with participants. Nawroz, one of victims after sharing his story said:” we see that all criminals who gave us pain are free and even they are becoming more powerful. So far, the government has done nothing in this regard. Though apparently, we are living in peace with these criminals and don’t bother them but, the truth is this that we haven’t forgiven them. They killed my father and shot me and I was lucky enough to survive the shooting. They tortured me painfully and inhumanely. I never forget such crimes and grievances. One day these criminals should pay for what they have done to me. I prefer the government to prosecute them and enforce the laws.”