Without destroying fundamentalism, securing human rights in Afghanistan is not possible!
As the world celebrates Human Rights Day on the threshold of the 21st century, the ruined nation of Afghanistan burns in the flames of Jihadi and Taliban infighting. Afghanistan is a land where human rights are being violated in a unique and horrible manner.
To convey an accurate picture of our nation-and particularly our women-to the world community, and to reveal the inhumanity of the Jihadis and Taliban, RAWA declares the following points on the occasion of International Human Rights Day:
1- With their rabid misogynous, anti-democratic, and science and culture-hating mentality, with their utter disregard for civilized principles of political and legal liberties, and with their chauvinistic and fascist attitudes, the Taliban are of no benefit to the Afghan people. Instead, they will continue to drag the country ever deeper into a vortex of social and cultural devastation and economic bankruptcy while creating poverty and illiteracy and depriving women from basic rights, all in the name of Islam and Shariat.
2- As RAWA has previously stated, the Jihadis and Taliban are birds of a feather and are equally despised by our people. They must be put on trial and tried as the savage war criminals they are.
3- Afghan women fighting for freedom can only break Taliban and Jihadi chains through a decisive and concerted effort, side by side with freedom-loving men. Only in this way can Afghan women attain freedom and human and democratic rights. Despite being targeted by enemy fire from all sides, RAWA will continue to shoulder the banner of struggle against Taliban and Jihadi traitors to the very last and without capitulation.
4- We unreservedly condemn any and all financial or military assistance or other backing given to the Taliban and Jihadis by neighboring countries and other nations. By supporting Afghan terrorist bands, these countries prove they are concerned only with furthering their own political and economic interests, and that they favor such interests over the future of Aghans hoping for democracy. Such international self interest is violating human rights on a national scale.
5- Efforts by the UN and other international bodies aimed at restoring peace in Afghanistan will be of no value to the Afghan people unless any agreements stipulate total disarmament along with the identification and pacification of hotbed regions of belligerent fundamentalism. We reiterate that any peace initiative in Afghanistan based on uniting Jihadi and Taliban criminals will signify nothing but contemptuous disdain for our grieving people.
6- The Rome meeting initiated by Zahir Shah was a positive sign because it decried the Jihadis and Taliban "Emirates," but the absence of women and pro-democracy and anti-fundamentalist organizations reflects a compromising attitude towards the fundamentalists. This is why the meeting falls short of inspiring hope for many in Afghanistan.
7- UN sanctions imposed on Taliban will have no great impact in alleviating Afghanistan's problems. Taliban are rich in dollars and pounds; the Afghan people are poor and would be hurt most by these sanctions. It is unconscionable that the Jihadis have been exempted from these sanctions. This implies a UN preference for Jihadis, in preparation for yet another round of bloody Afghan rule, albeit under different rulers. Therefore, RAWA strongly opposes such sanctions that would hurt the Afghan people while strengthening the criminal Jihadis. If the US and other governments sincerely want to help the people of Afghanistan, they must first and foremost impose strict curbs on countries that continue to nurture the Taliban and their Jihadi rivals with arms and money. It is the only way their war machines will be paralyzed.
8- RAWA has time and again reiterated that any effort to resolve the Afghan problem is without value if it does not consider women's rights and democratic freedoms, but instead supports this or that Jihadi group. Only countries committed to sweeping fundamentalist gangs from Afghanistan and restoring democracy can fully be regarded as friends of our people.
9- For the formation of a free, independent and democratic Afghanistan, the joint efforts of pro-liberty and democratic forces is required. This objective can be achieved only through relentless struggle, not through compromise and capitulation.
10- RAWA calls upon all pro-democracy organizations not to be mere spectators to the savage violation of human rights in Afghanistan but instead, to raise a voice against the fundamentalists. Such action will be a tangible measure of support to the Afghan people and particularly to Afghan women.
11- We express our solidarity with the struggle of freedom-loving forces in Iran, Kashmir, Kurdistan, Palestine, Sudan, Asia, Africa, Latin America and other parts of the world.
- Women's rights are human rights!
- Long live the solidarity of all individuals supporting freedom and human rights!
- Down with fundamentalism!
- Long live freedom and democracy!
Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA)
December 10, 1999 - Islamabad