BBC report and statement of Amnesty International on Zardad | RAWA's statement | RAWA reports about Zardad

NOTE: Heartfelt thanks to all RAWA supporters who sent their letters urging the UK government to investigate Zardad. Your protest letters worked and the British police finally arrested and filed a case against him and the jury found him guilty on 18 July, 2005, and he was sentenced 20 years in prison. Hope this will be a good start and pave the way for prosecution of many other such Afghan wanted criminals in other counties in the West and especially the masters of Zardad like Gulbuddin, Rabbani, Sayyaf, Khalili, Fahim etc.

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December 7, 2000

The Rt Hon Jack Straw MP
Private Office,
50 Queen Anne's Gate,
London SW1H 9AT

Dear Home Secretary,

As an international supporter of RAWA I am writing to strongly urge the government of the UK to investigate and prosecute Afghan warlord Zardad who, according to a July 2000 BBC report, is living in a London suburb. Between 1992 and 1996 the criminal actions of factional armed groups such as that led by Gulbaddin Hekmatyar, under whose direction Zardad acted, resulted in the estimated deaths of well over 25,000 Afghans. Many thousands of those murdered were noncombatants; civilians whose human rights are supposed to be protected by international law.

The accusations of human rights abuses leveled against Zardad during his years of domination are as grave as any leveled against similar violators of human rights and international law in Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, and Chile. As Amnesty International has stated in its August 2000 statement, the UK, as party to the Convention Against Torture, has a duty to bring to justice any persons on its soil who are responsible for human rights violations. The atrocities being committed currently in Afghanistan under the Taliban are merely an extension of the abuses of the 1990s.

For the international community to sit by while former perpetrators of abuse and terror seek and find shelter is a tacit approval of humanitarian abuses still occurring in Afghanistan, as well as countless other parts of the world. As the adopted home of an international criminal such as Zardad, the UK must act on the concept of universal jurisdiction and send a clear message to perpetrators of criminal acts against humanity, and to the entire world, that those of us living under the privilege of freedom and democracy and peace will not allow persons responsible for such atrocities to escape paying for their actions. The people of Afghanistan, after all, continue to pay for the actions of Zardad and his ilk; they deserve the UK's assurances that he and others war criminals on UK soil will be brought to justice.


Elizabeth Miller
Cincinnati, OH

* * * *

Dear RAWA,

A while ago I wrote to the Britisch government concerning Zardad. They replied with an email and I will include their reply in this email. Their reply is very disappointing I must add. It seems like they don't really care at all.

Anyway, keep up the tremendously good work! The world needs more people like you.

Sara 's Jegers

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