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The DAWN, December, 11, 1998
Afghan women want basic rights
ISLAMABAD, Dec 10: The Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) staged two sit-ins on Thursday, one at Saudi Towers (the United Nations Headquarters in Islamabad), and the other at Federal Judicial Academy, where a seminar on human rights was in progress.
The sit-ins were staged by about 250 young Afghan women and girls residing in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
The RAWA volunteers, without wearing any veils in an act of defiance of the fundamentalists ruling their country, were peaceful and carried placards inscribed with slogans reiterating basic human rights. The demonstrators decried the Taliban government for its violations of human rights on a massive scale.
At about 11am, the Afghan women and girls reached the UN Headquarters at Saudi Towers. About two dozen RAWA volunteers staged a sit-in on the lawns of the headquarter.
They were mostly young girls carrying placards emphasising the importance of fundamental human rights as enshrined in the UN Charter.
The demonstrators remained peaceful and after about 15 minutes, they packed up their placards and headed for the Federal Judicial Academy, where they staged another sit-in. The volunteers distributed pamphlets among the public who had assembled around them.
One of the leaders of RAWA told reporters that the association condemns all forms of assistance and support given by Iran, Pakistan, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Uzbekistan or any other country to the Taliban or the opposition groups.
She said such backing or support would signify the hypocrisy and enmity of the rulers of such countries with regard to the oppressed people of Afghanistan.
The pamphlet decried the repulsive features of the Islamic fundamentalists and crimes committed by the Taliban.
It strongly condemned the "inhuman punishments such as stoning to death, amputation of hands and feet, public lashings and executions in the name of Islam and Shariat without any form of fair trial".
The Nation, December 11, 1998
RAWA stages sit-in in front of UN office
ISLAMABAD - Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) staged a sit-in here Thursday in front of the UN offices lamenting the human rights record in Afghanistan.
The association condemned both Taliban and different Jihadi groups for their alleged violation of the basic human rights in the war-torn Afghanistan on the eve of the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A number of Afghan women, led by Nasreen Barin, participated in the sit-in who were carrying placards in their hands. The placards were inscribed with slogans lamenting the human rights record in Afghanistan and condemnation of Taliban and Jehadi groups.
"Overthrow of the Jehadi and Taliban criminals is the only guarantee of human rights in Afghanistan," said a statement issued by the association's members who participated in the protest.
The association said that women in Afghanistan were being brutalized in the most tragically inhuman conditions. It said the Afghan women were deprived of their basic rights.
RAWA lashed out at Taliban alleging that with their ultra-reactionary mentality Taliban had savagely assaulted the rights of the people of Afghanistan. The association said Taliban were no more different from the jehadi groups and had rabid misogynous and anti-democracy mentality.
The association added that Jehadis and Taliban would never restore peace in their country and condemned the inhuman punishments. It said the punishments are carried without any fair trial.
RAWA said the control of Taliban over a larger portion of the country was not the guarantee of peace and security in Afghanistan. The association also called for an end of foreign interference in Afghanistan.
The Frontier Post, December 11, 1998
RAWA vows to struggle against fundamentalists
PESHAWAR - The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, reiterated to continue its struggle for the freedom and democracy, which they said was the only way to get rid the people of Afghanistan from the clutches of fundamentalists.
To observe the Universal Human Rights day, RAWA staged a protest demonstration in front of the UN office at Islamabad on Thursday.
The participants carrying banners and placard, inscribed with anti-Taliban slogans and against the ineffective role of the UN, chanted slogans in favor of the helpless and shelterless women in their war-torn country.
The RAWA members criticized Taliban government, saying that it has deprived the women of its basic human rights.
News Network International, December 11, 1998
Afghan women rally denounces Taliban
ISLAMABAD (NNI): Afghan women on Thursday staged rally outside the UN office in Islamabad condemning Afghan leaders of trampling women rights in Afghanistan.
The demonstration, organized by the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) to mark the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights.
The demonstrators lashed out at Taliban for their "poor human rights record" and anti-women policies, urging the world community to take serious note of the hard-line student militia's policies.
They were holding banners and placards, inscribed with slogans against Taliban and other Afghan jehadi leaders.
A statement was issued on the occasion saying "the world community and human rights organizations would be meaningless without unequivocal condemnation of the Taliban, who deride the civilized incept of human rights."
"In Afghanistan women have borne the brunt of the Taliban's many edicts to implement their versions of Islamic law," the statement. It said that women have been forced off the job, ordered to wear the all-enveloping buriqua that covers them from held to toe. Girls are not allowed to attend school after the age of eight years old and women must be accompanied by a close male relative. The rally also condemned the Taliban's opposition, which is led by former President Burhanuddin Rabbani.
The statement said that during Rabbani's rule relentless fighting between rival Islamic factions destroyed vast sections of the capital and left 50,000 people dead, most of them civilians caught in the crossfire.
Referring to Rabbani and his allies as Jehadi (or holy warriors, the Afghan women's Association said "treating the likes of Rabbani, Masood, or any other as the lesser evil as compared with the Taliban is a cruel insult to our devastated people who have suffered enough under the whips and knives of Islamic fundamentalists of all hues and colors."
The association slammed Afghanistan's neighbors accusing them of supplying money and weapons to opposing factions in the bitter and protracted conflict, a charge that also has been leveled by the UN.
The News: Jang, December 11, 1998
'Successive Afghan govts assaulted women's rights'
ISLAMABAD: Accusing successive Afghan leaders of "savagely assaulting the rights" of women, dozens of Afghan women protested outside the United Nations offices here on Thursday to mark the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights. The protest was organized by the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan.
"The people of Afghanistan and in particular the agonized women of Afghanistan are being brutalized in the most tragically inhuman conditions," says a statement that the women's association handed over to the United Nations.
It also issued a stern warning to the international community saying: "the world community and Human Rights organizations would be meaningless without unequivocal condemnation on the Taliban, who deride the civilized concept of Human Rights."
The women's association also attacked the Taliban's opposition, which is led by former president Burhanuddin Rabbani. Referring to Rabbani and his allies as Jehadi (or holy warriors), the association said: "Treating the likes of Rabbani, Massood ... or any other as the lesser evil as compared with the Taliban is a cruel insult to our devastated people who have suffered enough under the whips and knives of Islamic fundamentalists of all hues and colors."
It also slammed Afghanistan's neighbors accusing them of supplying money and weapons to opposing factions in the bitter and protracted conflict, a charge that also has been leveled by the United Nations.