RAWA's demonstrations on December 10th in Islamabad and Peshawar were reported in the Pakistani press today. They hanged effigies of Northern Alliance and Taliban fundamentalists and denounced the new interim government installed by the US and UN. RAWA has a copy of the statement they made to the UN on their website as well as photos of their demonstration and short 15 second video clips. I highly recommend the video clips...
In Los Angeles, we had a demonstration and rally on the steps of the INS which was successful in voicing our expression of solidarity with the women of RAWA as well as with immigrants in the US and all those who are being attacked in the name of fighting terrorism. Our demonstration was covered on at least Channel 5 and on Democracy Now in Exile. - Sonali
RAWA protest rallies in Peshawar and Islamabad International Human Rights Day, Dec.10, 2001
RAWA rejects Bonn pact, asks UN to restore rights
Reminds world of rapes by Northern Alliance fighters
The News International, December 11, 2001
PESHAWAR: In connection with the International Human Rights Day, Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) staged a big protest demonstration in front of Press Club Peshawar on Monday against the top class Afghan leadership and demanded restoration of democracy, human rights and women's rights under the banner of the United Nations.
Speaker on this occasion strongly condemned Prof Burhanuddin Rabbani, Mulla Muhammad Omar, Engineer Gulbadin Hikmatyar, Abdur Rashid Dostum, Karim Khalili and others holding them responsible for the destruction of Afghanistan.
Rejecting the Bonn conference, the speakers said that UN should not support the Northern Alliance and instead support the people of Afghanistan. They alleged that the UN and the international community gave undue leverage to the Northern Alliance at the Bonn conference.
They condemned the Jihadi leaders of Afghanistan and said that they have waged so-called jihad for their self-interest, adding that they have nothing to do with jihad except to grab power.
Rejecting fundamentalism, the young girls raised vociferous slogans in support of democracy, human rights and women's rights in Afghanistan and asked the world community to support the people of Afghanistan in the establishment of a democratic government in that war-ravaged country.
On this occasion, the women activists hanged the effigies of Prof Rabbani, Gen Dostum, Karim Khalili, Mullah Omar, Gulbadin Hikmatyar and Prof.-
RAWA Rejects Interim set-up
PAKISTAN OBSERVER, December 11, 2001
ISLAMABAD- Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) while strongly rejecting the newly established interim set-up in Afghanistan has demanded of a truly people representative government in the war-shattered country in order to secure the basic rights and safety of the Afghan population.
"The new interim set-up in Afghanistan let by Hamid Karzai consisting mainly of Northern Alliance leaders is not acceptable at all to the people of the country and especially the women because the NA is the most murderous
violators of human rights", said the RAWA women who participated in a protest demonstration held in front of main UN building at the occasion of International Human Rights Day here on Monday.
The women protestors holding banners and placards in their hands inscribed upon with slogans "Afghan women demand their basic rights", "Stop victimization of women", "Let women to be the equal partner in nation building" chanted high voiced slogans while urging United Nations to play its role in providing justice to the females in Afghanistan.
They expressed that there is no difference of opinion among Northern Alliance and crumbled Taliban as far as women rights are concerned. The NA had been engaged in worst forms of atrocities perpetrated against the women in the past and their attitude will remain the same even after the formation of new set-up.
"RAWA from the outset regarded the Bonn gathering with mistrust. The composition of the interim government which includes Jihadi vampires and two women, one of them a leader of the mercenary criminal Hezb-e-Wahdat party and the other a known Parchami traitor, has proven that the UN has failed in aiding our people get rid of the rancid remains of the Northern Alliance hellhounds", the women protestors remarked.
They further added that the UN needs to know that even if all the cabinet posts of a government for Afghanistan were to be filled with such women, they can never be regarded as emblems of freedom and deliverance from oppression for Afghan women.
Razma Rah, one of the Afghan protestors, sharing her views said wearing Burqa is not the only problem faced by the women in Afghanistan, adding they are silent victims of worst kind of social and economical injustices for the last two decades.
Afghanistan which had been destroyed by the factional fighting over the past several years now needs people having democratic approach to bring about peace and stability in the country, she added.
The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, as the only feminist anti-fundamentalist organization in Afghanistan believes that only with the establishment of a secular and democratic government in Afghanistan will able the Afghan women to unburden the dead weight of centuries of oppression and stand their full stature on a par with men, the RAWA women demanded.
The protest demonstration guarded heavily by the capital police contingents ended peacefully.
RAWA protests against interim Afghan setup
The Frontier Post, Dec.11, 2001 Hamid Nawaz
PESHAWAR: Senior member of Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, Mrs. Weeda Mansoor has predicted that the withdrawal of Taliban from the scene of Afghanistan would repeat the history of human rights violations took place at the time of withdrawal of former Soviet Union troops and resignation of Dr.Najibullah.
The Bonn Conference has failed to give due representation to Afghan women as both Seema Samar and Amina Afzali have a criminal record of their past, she alleged.
She expressed these views in a press conference here on Monday, saying that although Taliban have gone for ever but the new governors of difference cities/states have criminal record and some reports indicate that they would not hesitate in repeating their past history.
The women rights defender went on to say "although the leaders of Northern Alliance are trying to show the west that they are civilized and women would given freedom but this just a net to capitalized their vested interest. Their past is evident of the fact that during their past governance they women were raped, assaulted and even kidnapped in the presence of their men, Mrs.Weeda reminded.
While discussing the women's participation in the interim set-up, she said although the west has been lulled by given portfolios to two women, the Afghan social worker believed that Seema Samar belonged to Hezb-e-Wahdat, the party which forces were involved in most of the rape cases in Afghanistan, while Amina Afzali had been, remained active member of Parchami Party and after its disintegration she joined Rabbani's Jamiat-e-Islami. Mrs. Weeda went on to say that both of them have never hesitated in joining men folk in violation of Afghan women's rights.
Discussing the output of Bonn conference, she said that the Afghans had attached much expectation with the conference but bestowing three main ministries on Northern Alliance dashed to ground all the attached expectations, as the Afghans believed that Northern Alliance would repeat their history.
She informed that in the current situation Afghan woman is feeling insecurity while roaming without Burqa in the city of Kabul and that is the reason after the withdrawal of Taliban most of the women used to wear Burqa.
Discussing the role of the UN in over all Afghan crises, the women rights activist explained alas: "The UN has failed to play its due role in resolving the Afghan problem in its true sense adding that the UN fallen prey to the trap of Northern Alliance and considered it civilized alliance their past comes in contrast with it".
Replying to a question Mrs.Weeda said that most of the current rulers would fail to gain public support if fair and transparent elections were held in Afghanistan suggesting that Zahir still enjoys public support and could be made the only true ruler of Afghanistan
Among the array of questions, she said that freedom for Afghan women means political, social, economical, and educational, and it should not be taken in a sense it is portrayed in the West.
Earlier, a Peshawar based, wing of RAWA tried to join Afghan women in Islamabad for observing International Human Rights Day, however, when they reached Attack Khurd, a heavy police contingent stopped their way and forced them to return back to Peshawar without participation in the rally. Later they staged a peaceful rally in front of Peshawar Press Club and chanted slogans against Afghan leaders: Professor Rabbani,
Adur Rashid Dostum, Gulbadin Hekmatyar and Commander Khalili.
Speakers on this occasion strongly condemned Prof Rabbani, Mullah Muhammad Omar, Eng Hekmatyar, Gen Dostum and Khalili and held them responsible for the destruction of Afghanistan.
Rejecting the Bonn Conference, the speaker said that UN should not support the Northern Alliance and should support the people of Afghanistan alleging the UN for un-due support to NA in Bonn conference.
They condemned the Jihadi leaders of Afghanistan and said that they have waged so-called Jihad for their self interests adding that they have nothing to do with Jihad except to grab power.
They on this occasion hanged the effigies of Rabbani, Dostum, Khalili, and Mullah Omar. Hekmatyar and Sayaf and asked the UN to support the people of Afghanistan instead of these alleged criminals.
Afghan women's group gloomy on post-Taliban era
Gulf News, The News and The Statesman, December 11, 2001
ISLAMABAD: Afghan women staged a protest on Monday, denouncing past abuses by factions making up their country's new government and predating that a lot of women would be no better than they were under the Taliban.
"The Northern Alliance were criminals to our mothers and young daughters," the women shouted at a small demonstration in the Pakistani capital. Children accompanying them waved banners and pictures of Northern Alliance fighters killing Taliban.
Under a landmark deal reached in Germany last week, the military dominant Northern Alliance will share power with exile groups in a six-month interim administration.
The Taliban, ousted by US backed tribal rivals, forced women to wear the burqa and banned them from working, studying or leaving their houses without a male relative - a harsh restriction in a land with many widowed in two decades of war.
But the leftist Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) said in a statement that factions within the victorious Northern Alliance were guilty of widespread rape of women and girls when in power in the early 1990s.
"We don't believe that they will not repeat the crimes they committed from 1992 to 1996," Alia Nazeer, a RAWA spokeswoman, told Reuters.
Most of the demonstrators wore veils, but none wore the burqa. The RAWA statement said the end of the burqa was "in nor way an indications of women's rights and liberties" in Afghanistan.
"The world community must consider the fanatic nature of the Northern Alliance and Taliban are the same." Alia Nazeer said.
"The people of the world need to know that in terms of the widespread raping of girls and women from seven to 70, the track record of the Taliban can no way stand up against that of these very same Northern Alliance associates," the RAWA statement said.
As the Northern Alliance has chased the Taliban from power, helped by weeks of US bombing, a few women in Afghanistan have stopped wearing their burqas and returned to work. Many are taking a wait-and-see attitude. - Reuters.
Human Rights Day: Afghan Women Protest in Pakistan
Voice Of America, 10 Dec 2001
Afghan women have demonstrated to denounce past abuses by the Taleban and factions making up Afghanistan's new government. The women rallied in the Pakistani capital on International Human Rights Day.
About 200 Afghan women staged the protest outside the U.N. office in Islamabad. They are members of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA).
The demonstrators hold both the Northern Alliance and the now defeated Islamic Taleban responsible for human rights violations and the destruction of Afghanistan.
One participant, Alia Nazir, says they all should be taken to the courts for their past abuses and not made rulers of Afghanistan.
"When [Northern Alliance and Taleban] captured Afghanistan, first of all they imposed restriction against the women of Afghanistan," she said. "They say that women are nothing and they are not a part of the society. They do not consider women to be human beings and that they must stay in the houses.
Sohaila Bibi is a senior activist of the Afghan group. She says the leaders of the Northern Alliance are criminals to Afghan mothers and young daughters.
"We are not happy with [the Northern Alliance]. The people do not like them," she said. "They do not accept them because they have experienced their cruel actions from 1992 to 1996."
The demonstrators, mostly ethnic Tajiks, waved banners and pictures of Northern Alliance fighters, torturing and killing Taleban adversaries last month after the fall of Kabul.
Rally leader Alia Nazir says her country needs a democratic government under the supervision and protection of U.N. peacekeeping forces. She says the United Nations should also persuade Afghanistan's neighbors to stop interference in the country.
The United Nations "must tell them not to support these fundamentalists and different jihadi groups in Afghanistan any more," she said. "Because now the whole world, they know about their criminal nature that they are just criminals. They are just fundamentalists and they just want their power in Afghanistan."
The demonstrators were also shouting slogans against the U.N.-mediated political deal in Germany, which gives a major share of power to the Northern Alliance. Ms. Nazir says the women who sat in on the Bonn conference represented warring factions that oppressed the women of Afghanistan.
The now defeated hard-line Taleban forced women to cover themselves from head to toe in a burqa and banned them from working, receiving an education, and leaving home without a male relative. But only a few women have taken off their burqas since the Northern Alliance took control of Kabul last month.
RAWA demands UN to establish democratic govt in Afghanistan
News Network International, Dec.10, 2001
ISLAMABAD: The Revolutionary Association of Women in Afghanistan has demanded the United Nations to establish a liberal and democratic government under the supervision of ex-King Zair Shah in Afghanistan.
An agitation rally consisting of hundreds of women of RAWA was held on the occasion of International Human Rights Day in front of United Nations Office in Islamabad on Monday.
The RAWA rejected the Bonn Conference as the representatives of North Alliance in the new set up were responsible for committing atrocities and murder of innocent Afghans and urged the United Nations to bring them into the International Court of Justice for trial.
It also rejected the tiny representation of women in Bonn Conference and said that they are not the true representatives of Afghan women
RAWA flays HR record of Alliance leaders
Dawn, Dec.11, 2001
PESHAWAR, Dec 10: The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) has demanded of the United Nations to extend its assistance and cooperation to Afghan people rather than to the leaders of Northern Alliance, who, it claimed, were involved in massacre of Afghan people.
Speaking to newsmen at the Peshawar Press Club on Tuesday, Veeda Mansur, a spokesman for the RAWA, alleged the component parties of the Northern Alliance had been involved in violation of human rights in Afghanistan.
She said mercenaries of various extremist organizations had been involved in killings, rendering hundreds of women and children widows and orphans.
Veeda Mansur said the Bonn conference deliberations had shattered all hopes of the Afghans and said its considered opinion was that only the former Afghan King, Zahir Shah, could unite the people and take the country out of prevailing chaos.
Ms Mansur said the Northern Alliance clique was not different than the Taliban in their approach towards women and children.
"Each year, on Dec 10, RAWA takes out a procession to mark the international human rights day and explains to the people human rights abuses and atrocities in Afghanistan. Today, we were proceeding towards Islamabad to submit a memorandum to the UN office, but the Frontier police stopped us at the Attock bridge and forced us to return," she lamented.
Earlier, over 200 RAWA activists staged a demonstration in front of the Press Club and raised slogans against Gen Dostum, Mulla Omar, Khalili, Hikmatyar, Siyyaf and Rabbani.
RAWA for early deployment of UN peacekeepers in Afghanistan
Dawn, Dec.11, 2001
By A Reporter
ISLAMABAD, Dec 10: The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) has warned the United Nations and the world community that delay in despatching UN peacekeeping forces in Afghanistan would result bloodbaths and repetition of the unparalleled horrors and atrocities of the 1992-96.
In a declaration on the occasion of International Human Rights Day, RAWA feared that current fighting between Dostum and Hezb-i-Wahdat would not remain restricted to Mazar-i-Sharif and if the UN was sincere in its efforts to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan, then it must not support Northern Alliance.
RAWA said the UN should condemn and punish the countries, supplying funds and arms to these alleged murderers. "It will only be then that a government, devoid of terrorist- fundamentalist contamination and based on democratic values can be set up in Afghanistan," the declaration said.
It said RAWA regarded the Bonn conference with mistrust. "The composition of the interim government, which includes Jihadis and two women, one of them a leader of the Hezb-i-Wahdat party and the other a known traitor, has proven that unfortunately the United Nations has failed in aiding our people to get rid of the rancid remains of the Northern Alliance", it said.
The report of RAWA rallies was also published in almost all Urdu and Pushto newspapers of Pakistan.