Press Coverage of RAWA Demo on the Black Day of April 28
RAWA activists holds demo
Dawn, April 29, 2003
By Jamal Shahid
ISLAMABAD, April 28: More than 300 Afghans, including women and children, observed a black day and held a protest demonstration in front of the UN office here on Monday.
The demo was organized by the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan against the Northern Alliance-led government in their country.
The demonstrators, who had come from refugee camps in Peshawar and Rawalpindi, raised slogans including "April 28 is more sinister and shameful than April 27," referring to the events when the Mujahiddeen had come to power on April 28, 1992, and the Saur Revolution of April 27, 1978.
The demonstrators said the oppression of the Jehadis on the Afghan people was so painful that it could not be forgotten until the Northern Alliance leaders and their accomplices were punished and thrown out of the country.
They said talking about free elections, framing new constitution and establishment of a national policy would be unfair and unacceptable as long as the present rulers remained in power.
The demonstrators also criticized their government for supporting Anglo-US attack on Iraq.
"The atrocities committed against the Afghan women by the Northern Alliance were brutal which can not be forgotten nor forgiven," said a woman demonstrator.
She said the true picture of Afghanistan was clear and the present government in Kabul had brought no political change to the country. "Nothing has changed with the installation of the new government which is under the influence of the Northern Alliance," she added.
US-backed Kabul regime accused of supporting rights abusers
US supporting the worst breed of warlords
Baluchistan Times, April 28, 2003
SLAMABAD: Hundreds of Afghan women staged a protest here on Monday, accusing puppet Afghan regime for supporting warlords with notorious records of abuse against human rights in general and women in particular.
"They are no lesser criminals as far as their treatment of women is concerned," protest leader Marina Mateen of the Revolutionary Association of Afghan Women (RAWA), said.
The RAWA activists protested outside the United Nations offices to mark the twin anniversaries of the 1978 communist coup in Afghanistan and the 1992 capture of Kabul by the Mujahideen led by Burhanuddin Rabbani.
"Since the present Afghan government comprises mostly of Northern Alliance, the men who committed crimes against women during the four-year rule (1992-96), we condemn them," Marina said.
The RAWA named warlords Abdul Rashid Dostam, an Uzbek commander and deputy defense minister of Afghanistan, and Atta Mohammad, his Tajik rival, strongman Ismail Khan, now governor of Herat province, and Burhanuddin Rabbani as figures who had committed gross crimes against women.
Until they were removed from power, "talking about holding of free election, framing of a new constitution and establishment of new national police and army ... will be nothing but a bid to legitimize the rule of corrupt and morally bankrupt elements," RAWA said.
RAWA observes Black Day
Pak Tribune, April 28, 2003
ISLAMABAD, April 29 (Online): Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) observed April 28 as black day against the malicious acts of "Northern Alliance criminals" from 1992 to 1996 and staged a protest demonstration in front of Saudi Pak Tower.
Around 300 women and 100 men participated in the protest. They were holding placards inscribing with the slogans that there should be peace in Afghanistan and war must be ended immediately.
They were also carrying posters and banners in which the photographs of injured and murdered people during the Afghan war were shown.
They also raised slogans against the Taliban regime and said that they were also responsible for all these killings in Afghanistan during the war.
Sohaila, a representative of RAWA while leading the protest said that people of Afghanistan must be given complete freedom. She said that independence was a great blessing.
She maintained that people across the world know the importance of peace and independence. People from all over the world have staged protest demonstrations for peace, which is good sign, she said.
She said that after the eradication of Taliban, people have still no freedom in Afghanistan, as there is dominance of American forces.
At the end of the protest, they handed over a memorandum to the representative of United Nation's Office.
Photo Caption: Members of Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan carrying play cards during a protest in front of UN Office as they observed April 28 as black day against the malicious acts of "Northern Alliance" criminals from 1992 to 1996.
Women Call Warlords As "Criminal" As Taliban
UN Wire, April 28, 2003 and The Middle East Times, May 2, 2003
More than 100 Afghan women gathered in Islamabad yesterday to protest the Afghan central government's continued support of warlords with histories of abusing women's rights.
"They are no lesser criminals than Taliban as far as their treatment of women is concerned," said protest leader Marina Mateen of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan
RAWA members demonstrated in front of the United Nations offices in the Pakistani capital in a rally marking the anniversaries of the 1978 communist coup in Afghanistan and the 1992 taking of Kabul by anti-communist mujahideen led by Burhanuddin Rabbani, who became president of Afghanistan for the next four years. The group's members contend that abuses against women were rampant during Rabbani's regime and that many of the officials from that time now serve in government posts under Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
"Since the present Afghan government comprises mostly of Northern Alliance men who committed crimes against women during the four-year rule (Rabbani's 1992 to 1996 regime), we condemn them," Mateen told Agence France-Presse.
RAWA named Uzbek commander Abdul Rashid Dostum, Tajik warlord Atta Mohammad and Herat Province Governor Ismail Khan as warlords who had committed gross crimes against women.
Until they are removed, the organization said, "talking about execution of free election[s], framing of a new constitution and establishment of our new national police and army ... will be legitimizing the rule of fanatic fundamentalists and betrayal of our people" (AFP, April 28).
RAWA rally accuses Kabul of supporting abusers of women's rights
The News, April 29, 2003
Islamabad: More then 100 Afghan women staged a protest here on Monday accusing Afghanistan's post-Taliban regime of supporting warlords with notorious records of abuse against women.
"They are no lesser criminals then taliban as far as their treatment of women is concerned," protest leader Marina Mateen, belonging to the Revolutionary Association of Afghan women (RAWA) told this news agency.
RAWA followers protested outside United Nations office in Islamabad to mark the twin anniversaries of the 1978 communist coup in Afghanistan and the 1992 capture of Kabul by anti-communist mujaheedin forces led by Burhanuddin Rabbani.
The organization, which campaigned clandestinely at great risk against the Taliban and their brutal treatment of women, said the current regime supported figures from rabbani's era who committed abuses against women.
"since the present Afghan government comprises mostly of Northern Alliance men who committed crimes against women during the four-year rule (Rabbani's 1992 to 1996 regime), we condemn then, "RAWA foreign policy spokeswoman Marina Mateen told this news agency.
The Northern Alliance was a coalition of anti-Taliban forces including former Rabbani supporters and mujaheedin fighters, dominated by Tajik and Uzbak ethnic groups, who helped US-led forces overthrow the Taliban in November 2001, they now dominate the transitional administration.
RAWA named northern war-lords Abdul Rashid Dostum, an Uzbak commander, and Atta Mohammad, his Tajik rival, western strongman Ismail Khan, now governor of Heart province, and Rabani as figures who had allegedly committed gross crimes against women. Until they were removed from power, "talking about execution of free election, framing of a new constitution and establishment of new national police and army… will be legitimizing the rule of fanatic fundamentalists and betrayal of our people," RAWA said.
During the five-years rule of the Taliban, who seized power from Rabbani's regime in 2996, women were banned from classrooms and workplaces and forced to wear the all-covering veil.
Since the collapse of the militia, women have slowly clawed back some of their rights, returning to jobs, schools and public life. But much oppression remains.
RAWA said the anniversary of the mujaheedin's 1992 arrival in Kabul was "more sinister and shameful than April 27" when the communists took over.
RAWA observes Black Day against fundamentalists
The Nation, April 29, 2003
Islamabad- Revolutionary Association of the women of Afghanistan (RAWA) held a demonstration in front of UN office in Saudi pak Tower to mark black day of jahadi fundamentalist's coming to power, here on Monday. More then hundred Afghan women and children participated in the rally to express their protest against the fundamentalists who still continue to torture people in Afghanistan.
RAWA activists from Peshawar, Lahore, Quetta and Afghanistan also participated with slogans like: "Northern alliance is worse then Iraqi regime", "Our hearts go to anti war protestors in the US and the world."
Japanese students and activists also attended in the rally.
RAWA activists also protested against the malicious acts of the "Northern Alliance".
Talking to The Nation RAWA activists said that the state and present repot on "Northern Alliance" fundamentalists in the government and their "Emirates" in different areas has made the perfidious and treacherous nature of these traitors highly visible to all.
Later, Salman, a representative of UNO, assured the protestors that their message would be conveyed to the secretary General.
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