Victim’s Name: Sayeed Alam Hamidi
Date of Incident: 1979
Place of Incident: Polygon, Pul-i-Charkhi, Kabul
Sayed Alam Hamidi was born in the Jabl-Seraj District of the Province of Parwan in 1953. He started school in his village, Sayed Khil and continued at Jabl-Seraj High School for a while before having to drop out because of severe poverty and lack of financial support. He then started working as a junior staff with the Ministry of Public Works. His teens coincided with the rise of the labor movements in the late 60s and early 70s. He joined the new democratic movements and engaged in political activities as a pro-labor rights activist. He opposed the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan so the AGSA arrested him in September 1979. They surrounded and forcefully entered our home and I was instantly told to escape and hide. They captured Sayed Alam and three other people who were our guests. At that time, I was in my early twenties and was studying at university.
We do not know what happened after Sayed Alam was taken to Pul-i-Charkhi. Even when in December 1979, when the Soviet Army attacked Afghanistan and the new government announced a general amnesty for all political prisoners, he was not among those released. Ghani Sayed Khili, one of my brother’s prison cellmates, who was released in the general amnesty gave us his letters written on cigarette papers. They had been cellmates for three weeks after which he does not know what happened to my brother. We only came to know when in August 2013, the Kingdom of Netherlands released a list of 5,000 victims executed between 1978 and 1979 that he had been executed in 1979 at the Pul-i-Charkhi Prison, after weeks of torture and without any valid accusation or a fair trial.
He was 25 years old, had just gotten married, and his wife was pregnant when he was arrested. Three months after his arrest his only son was born. We could not inform him of his birth so we do not know if he ever came to know. Now his son, Javid, is 31 years old. He asked me many times about who killed his father and why. Despite knowing, I have preferred not telling him as he may get involved in another bloody circle of revenge and killing which never ends if we do not stop it. I told him it was the communist regime not any specific person because revenge is not the solution, we would have to kill tens and thousands and then it would be their survivors’ turn to take revenge and it would never end. A letter and three photos are all we have left today from Sayeed Alam and I have added them to the Memory Box. My message to those who are going to visit the Museum is that if we do not stop, war and killing will never stop until it kills us all.