Hambastagi.org (Translated by RAWA), July 14, 2018

Salma, a victim of Ashraf Ghani’s bodyguards’ roughshod riding

Unless Salma’s killers are punished, this act will give hundreds of parliamentarians and warlords the power to kill our defenseless people every day

By Rahmat

Salma, a 13-year-old girl who sold yogurt to earn money for her family, was run over and killed by a car which was part of Ashraf Ghani's caravan of bullet proof cars and bodyguards. (Photo: Hambastagi.org)

Ashraf Ghani’s trip to Laghman province on July 2, 2018, ended up costing Salma her life. Salma, a 13-year-old girl, lived in Mahtarlaam city and came to the main city every day to sell yogurt and earn some money for her poor family. She was hit by a car from Ashraf Ghani’s motorcade.

The news of Salma’s martyrdom only came out on social media. We visited her home to pay our condolences and learn some more details.

Samiullah, Salma’s father who was in a state of shock at the loss of his beloved daughter, described his life, “We are very poor. I have a job but it is not enough for our family. This is why we were forced to send Salma to sell yogurt in the city. She bore the brunt of our family’s expenses on her small shoulders. But one of Ashraf Ghani’s high speed cars mercilessly took my daughter from me. When Ashraf Ghani’s bodyguards martyred my daughter, the killers left the city indifferently, like they had killed a bird. The passersby took my daughter to the hospital.”

He added that some government officials had pressured him to keep quiet about the matter.

Haji Gul, Salma’s uncle, said, “They told us to take the body home and keep the matter a secret, because the people who killed her are powerful and we are no match for them. We said it is very late now and the weather is warm, so we cannot take her body home. After a lot of begging, they agreed to keep her body in the hospital morgue for one more day. They did not allow the media people to enter the hospital. The governor’s spokesman called me and said that no one should know about the incident. I put the news out on Facebook the next day, and the spokesman called me again. He said the governor wants to meet you. I did not agree to the meeting. I told him that my daughter has been martyred, and I have not committed a crime to come to meet him.”

Haji Gul said that the next day the governor and some other government officials went to Salma’s home to pay their condolences. They promised to pay the family 300,000 Afghanis, some land, and martyrdom documents (official documents granted to families of martyrs which gives them monthly payments from the government) in return for their silence, but had not given anything till now.

A young man from Laghman province spoke to us on condition of anonymity, “Ashraf Ghani killed a child, and promised to pay 300,000 Afghanis. This is very shameful. Neither 300,000 nor 3,000,000 can bring the sweet child back. Unless Salma’s killers are punished, this act will give hundreds of parliamentarians and warlords the power to kill our defenseless people every day.”

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