Since the US/British invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the country’s people have been living under constant threat of violence and terror. Last year (2017) only (1st of January – 30rd of September), 8090 civilians got either killed or wounded as a result of the ongoing war between Taliban and government/international forces. At the moment, war conflicts are occurring in the country at a rate of 80 incidents per day and numbers of casualties are rising steadily over the past years.
In the last months, the Taliban have regained territories they lost during the invasion and peacekeeping of the international coalition, while the Afghan government loses areas by the day. Due to these recent developments, the UN decided to name the conflict in Afghanistan being an “active conflict”, instead of a “post-conflict situation”.
The number of traumatized civilians is shocking. In 2009, the Afghan Ministry of Public Health stated that at least two-third of the Afghan population suffer from mental health issues, which are unlikely to be treated properly in one of the most instable countries on the planet.
And it’s not just about the staggering and sharply rising numbers of incidents, wounded or killed civilians. Although those numbers should be more than enough reason to grant the Afghans the protection they deserve, they won’t convince our European governments. The Global Peace Index of 2017 classifies Afghanistan as the most insecure country in the world, coming second after Syria. Still, our governments won’t listen.
The most significant human rights problems were widespread violence, including indiscriminate attacks on civilians by armed insurgent groups; armed insurgent groups’ killings of persons affiliated with the government; torture and abuse of detainees by government forces; widespread disregard for the rule of law and little accountability for those who committed human rights abuses; and targeted violence and endemic societal discrimination against women and girls.
Other human rights problems included extrajudicial killings by security forces; ineffective government investigations of abuse and torture by local security forces; poor prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention, including of women accused of so-called moral crimes; prolonged pretrial detentions; judicial corruption and ineffectiveness; violations of privacy rights; restrictions on freedom of speech, press, religion, and movement; pervasive governmental corruption; underage and forced marriages; abuse of children, including sexual abuse; trafficking in persons, including forced labor; discrimination against persons with disabilities; discrimination and abuses against ethnic minorities; societal discrimination based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and HIV/AIDS status; and abuse of workers’ rights, including child labor.
Widespread disregard for the rule of law and official impunity for those who committed human rights abuses were serious problems. The government did not consistently or effectively prosecute abuses by officials, including security forces.
The percentage of granted asylums to Afghans in European Union differs strongly between the different members states. Some countries won’t protect almost anyone (Hungary accepts a shocking 7.4% of Afghan refugee status claims), others are doing slightly better. But the EU countries have proven to be unwilling to protect Afghans, as the EU pressured Afghanistan to take back their people, under the threat of stopping all financial aid to the country.
The stories of deported Afghans will most likely never reach our national media, but numerous human rights organizations, such as Amnesty, have reported multiple killings of deported people, when they arrived “home”. Even now these people have proven to be in danger, our governments continue to send back the people searching for protection in the EU. 3260 people were send back in 2015. In 2016, the number almost tripled, as 9460 people were deported.
The international institutions stated Afghanistan being a war zone. The leading human right organizations have called on the EU and its member stated to accept Afghan refugees. The people we send back, are not unlikely to die. And still, our government continues. It’s time to act.