Hazaras of Afghanistan
Hazaras are a large ethnic, and religious group in Afghanistan , who despite their millennia-long history and culture in the region have been victims of systemic and continuous genocidal atrocities since the late 19th century in modern Afghanistan.
Why are Hazaras targeted?
Hazaras are a visible minority who have been systematically marginalized and targeted for their distinct central-Asian facial features and religious beliefs.
Since the late 19th century, with the rising prominence of ethnic nationalist narratives in state and nation building efforts in Afghanistan, Hazaras distinct facial features and cultural heritage relegated them to the unfitting minority status whose existence challenged ethnic nationalistic narratives.
As the 20th century drew to a close and radical religious movements dominated Afghanistan’s political scene, Hazaras’ adherence to Shia Islam in a predominantly Sunni country further fueled the targeted violence against them.
What are instances of violence against Hazara people?
A UN Human Rights reports summarises the extent of violence against Hazaras:
• The Taliban attacks on Hazara populated regions has left several hundred casualties, and approximately 10000 displaced families.
• The Taliban and ISIS have orchestrated at least 30 attacks against Hazaras in public places such as mosques, schools, educational centers, demonstration rallies, almost in all big cities of the country.
• Hazaras are the victims of target killing, kidnapping, taking hostage and road blockage by the Taliban and other Islamic radical extremist networks.
• By blocking and banning the routes, the Taliban controls the majority of Hazara people movement and besieges practically all Hazara resident provinces and districts and putting them in acute pressure.
• Hostage taking, abduction and kidnapping of the Hazaras are highly alerting in recent years. Tens of Hazara people have been kidnapped and killed by such a way in last 5 years. The prime examples are those incidents occurred in Zabul, Ghor and Parwan province where tens of Hazaras were abducted and beheaded.
• Around 1500 Hazaras including children, women and men have been killed, mostly beheaded in Zabul province (Kandi Posht area) during the Taliban regime. Other sources consider the actual victims of Kandi Posht higher than of the earlier estimation by counting it around 3000 deaths
• Due to security deterioration and recent Taliban’s military progress in Afghanistan, Hazaras are susceptible for getting double-victimized by human traffickers and smugglers.
• The recent attacks against Hazaras have not been a merely record, rather, they faced far larger ethnic cleansing in their chronicle which occurred in the dawn of the 20th Century. It ended to 50-60% elimination of entire Hazara population in a way to be killed, sold into slavery or forced to leave the country.