April 15,2000 - Islamabad
During a ceremony at the residence of Mr. Jean Berthault, incharge of Afghanistan affairs at French Embassy in Islamabad, and in presence of Mr Yannick Gerard French Ambassador in Pakistan and Mr Olivier Plançon First Secretary of the Embassy and some journalists and RAWA activists, "The French Republic's Liberty, Equality, Fraternity Human Rights Prize" endowed by the Prime Minister of the French Government through National Advisory Commission on Human Rights was granted to RAWA for its activities for human rights in Afghanistan. It is almost the first time that a country in the West paid attention to a democratic organization in Afghanistan.
On behalf of RAWA, Mother Zemaray, a bereaved woman whose eight sons have been kidnapped and killed at the hands of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar received the prize. While taking the prize, with tears in her eyes, she said " expressing my heartfelt thanks to the French government and nation, I hope that France prosecute Gulbuddin and other Jehadic and the Taliban leaders as the murderers of our people". "Though RAWA is given the prize, but till the murderers of my sons and the butchers of my nation have not been brought to justice I will not be satisfied. All those who lost their lives by inhuman fundamentalists are my sons" she continued.
Awarding the prize, Mr. Jean Berthault said: "This is very important because the medal that is going to be given to you is coming from the Committee for the Human Rights that is composed of very important people. RAWA got a special mention with medal in order to illustrate the importance of its action. The work of RAWA is extremely important because nowadays in Afghanistan we are in a situation where the women are deprived of any access to education, health and so on. In the last twenty-two years we have been witnessing a terrible war in Afghanistan and the result of this war has been that the field of education particularly has been entirely destroyed. Every body knows and acknowledges the importance of women in order to promote the future generation, and this is the main reason why RAWA has been given this award. Today is also an occasion for my government that I represent in Afghanistan, to illustrate the importance that we attach to your country, to your dear country, also to peace in Afghanistan for which we are really trying and doing our best. I promise you." He concluded "In the territories of the Taliban as well as that of other forces the situation is not good."
Afterwards, an activist of RAWA on behalf of her organization pointed out "it is a fine opportunity for RAWA to share the cry of thousands of mournful and bleeding Afghan women with the world. Women who are being crushed by the most savage regime of our day, a regime which is striking our desperate women mentally and physically with such blows without example either during the Russian invasion or at any time in the past. Human rights and women's rights in particular have been violated at different levels by different regimes. However, in today's ill-fated Afghanistan there is not a single trace of human rights and women's rights but a distant memory in the past eight years.
The shameless brothers of the Taliban and Jehadis in Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Algeria have even trembled a bit because of what the Afghan fundamentalists have done and are doing to women. Where has it been seen that while shouting Allah-o-Akbar they rape 70-year-old mothers and fathers and 7-year-old girls? Where has it been seen that after raping pregnant women, the armed-Islamic warlords wait before the traumatized woman for the delivery of "their" babies? Who has seen that hundreds of young girls are committing suicide as their only hope of safety from abduction and raping by fundamentalists? And…
There is no time to point out each and every atrocity of the Taliban and Jehadic warlords; but it is enough that the world knows that 99% of our women are bereaved. Our hearts are stained with the remorse of humiliation and insults against us; lashing us publicly, bleeding us white, and snatching us away from our lands and men and dragging us into beggary and prostitution."
"The UN-imposed economic sanctions on Afghanistan are yet another crushing burden on the shoulders of our misery-stricken nation and the only group or individuals the sanctions will not have the slightest negative impact on will be the Taliban, who are so affluent in dollars and rupees gained from narcotic smuggling that they will never be humbled by any such misguided efforts. The picture gets darker when we see their rival brothers, the Jehadis, are exempted from the sanctions. The criminal acts of the latter have even in some ways whitewashed the face of the Taliban. Do the UN and the West want to replace the Taliban and impose the Jehadics on our people? If the UN or the West is really interested in solving the problems of Afghanistan, they must first and foremost impose strict sanctions on the countries that continue to support the Taliban and their Jehadic rivals with arms and money " she concluded.
It is clear cut that time and again the international prizes, under the name of human rights and democracy, have been given to the known agents of KHAD and to women who know nothing about the sorrows and aspirations of the Afghan women; they are just trying to reconcile with the Jehadic and the Taliban thugs.
Though RAWA has been granted the prize, but the miseries and sufferings of the Afghan people and women are as much deep and wide-ranged that such prizes could never alleviate them. Our sufferings inter alia, get harsh when we are witnessing that the world media don't give considerable coverage to the horrible plight of Afghan women.
The medieval-minded and women-bashing fundamentalists regard the human rights and democratic values nothing but the products of the West and contrary to the tradition and culture of Afghanistan. We strongly demand France to deal with the Afghan fundamentalists without giving any of them her recognition or any assistance and put pressure on the UN to impose sanctions not only on the Taliban, but on the Jehadic traitors as well. By doing that, it means France grants the greatest "prize" not only to RAWA but to the people of Afghanistan as a whole.
the dedication of this prize to RAWA, which has been struggling for almost
20 years for democracy and human rights, indicate that France will be the
first country, which will raise its voice for democracy and human rights
in Afghanistan? We hope it will be so. This is the desire of each and every