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Transitional Justice Workshop in Kabul: Afghan government has not heard victims’ voices

  Hadi Marifat, executive director of Afghanistan Human Rights and Democracy Organization (AHRDO) discussed the importance of inclusion of the victims of conflict in any Transitional Justice (TJ) effort during a one-day Transitional Justice Workshop in Kabul which took place at AHRDO office on June 14, 2016. He maintained that it is vital for a peaceful Afghanistan to hear the voices of war victims who have suffered the most from the protracted war and are still remaining in the margins. “To lead a success reconciliation, the Afghan government should hear the concerns and demands of Afghan victims”, said Marifat. He also added that “Afghanistan’s top-to-bottom approach to Transitional Justice made it a government and elite oriented process from the beginning, which consequently, led to its failure due to absence of victims’ perspectives.” During the workshop, participants discussed Transitional Justice efforts in Afghanistan in the last one and half decade as well as the prospect of access to justice for the victims of prolonged war and the vicious cycle of violence in Afghanistan. Ashraf Bakhtiyari, lecturer and the executive director of Afghanistan Forensic Science Organization, discussed the failures of Afghan government in the Transitional Justice process in Afghanistan in the last...

Memory Box 2015-16: A Continued Struggle to Break the Cycle of Tragedy in Afghanistan

AHRDO conducted two Memory Box workshops in 2015 with the victims of the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan. Each workshop was followed by an inter-workshop participants Memory Box exhibition. In the first Memory Box workshop, participants came from the members of the victims of Afghan conflict in the last one and a half decade. In the second Memory Box workshop, the participants came from the family members of victims who had lost their lives in catastrophic bomb blasts and suicide attacks in Kabul in 2015. Most of the victims in those incidents were ordinary daily-wage workers, school/university students and other civilians. Using the Aesthetics of the Oppressed, AHRDO trainer, Salim Rajabi, worked with the victims to help them revitalize their creativity, retell their stories of loss and memories of their loved ones, imagine their ideal Afghanistan and draw favorite flags for Afghanistan they wish to see.  Inter-workshop participants exhibitions were aimed to connect the victims’ survivors to each other and the public exhibition was held to share their memories and stories with the wider public, media and human rights organizations and activists. The day of the second inter-workshop participants exhibition was planned to coincide with December 10th, International Human Rights Day...

The Premier of “From I through We to Community”

The premier of the documentary “From I through We to Community” which is produced by Afghanistan Human Rights and Democracy Organization took place on Thursday, 28 April 2016. From I through We to Community documents the journey of 24 young Afghan women and men in order to address ethnic conflict in Afghanistan at the grassroots level. More than 450 people watched the documentary inside the Arghawan Hall of the historical Babur’s Garden in Kabul. Before the premier of the documentary, the harmonious melody of instruments played by a group of students from the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM) rejuvenated the spirit of unity and resonated the music of diversity. Hamid who watched the documentary from the end of the hall with keen eyes said: “The documentary creates many questions in the beginning. Those question captivate you with curiosity throughout the documentary.  At the end, you see the transformation with a strong message. It has the potential to prompt people to re-evaluate their relations with other ethnic groups and question their formerly held perceptions.” 24 project participants were also present at the event. They shared their experiences, observations and stories from their visit to the provinces, hospitality and encounters with...

Infinite Incompleteness: A Documentary Theater Play

Infinite Incompleteness tells the stories of ten Afghan women and men who have lost members of their families as a result of the various conflicts in Afghanistan over the past three decades. The stories are told verbatim by three anonymous afghan men dressed in national colures. Each of the three men represents one of three largest groups in the country: Pashtun, Tajik, and Hazara (the fourth main ethnic groups, uzbek, is also represented in tow of the stories).the stories are told in their respective languages Pashto, Dari and Hazaragi. While the three men tell the stories of the suffering of their people, the engage in three recurring, tiresome and ultimately traumatizing activities: digging up the dead, rebuilding the country and, metaphorically, carrying the load of war and loss. In the background, a pregnant Afghan woman, the Butimar-e Kabul, whose two  children have  disappeared during one of the conflict periods, hauntingly counts the millions of dead, burning their pictures in an Afghan Bkhori (Stove). Read more