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PublishDate: Wednesday, May 19, 2021 15:20

Non-payment Of Full Compensation To Victims Of Kabul School Attack Is Discrimination: Parliament

Various members of the House of Representatives on Wednesday raised their voices against what they called “obvious discrimination” against the victims of the attack on the Sayyid al-Shuhada school in western Kabul, as they have not been paid a full compensation by the government.

Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)_Ali Akbar Jamshidi, a member of the House of Representatives, said that the families of each “martyr” of the attack received 50,000 afghanis and 20,000 afghanis for the treatment. Jamshidi, however, added that before this, “in every terrorist incident, as a principle, the paid 100,000 Afghanis for the family of each martyr and 50,000 Afghanis for each wounded.”

The compensation payment lists for the victims of the attack on the Sayyid al-Shuhada school, published five days ago by Mohammad Noor Akbari, Chief of Staff of Office of the First Vice-President, show that the families of the 62 killed in the attack have been paid 50,000 Afghanis. The lists also show that between 14,000 and 20,000 afghanis were paid for the 142 injured in the incident.

Mir Rahman Rahmani, speaker of the House of Representatives, called the payment of 50,000 Afghanis to the families of each victim and 20,000 afghanis for the treatment of any wounded “obvious discrimination.” He instructed the Parliament’s Commons Committee on Kochis, Martyrs, and the Disabled to seriously assess the matter.

The attack on the Sayyid al-Shuhada school was carried out on May 8 with a car bomb and two improvised explosive devices. The families of the victims of the attack called for the attack to be recognized as an example of “genocide” by the Afghan government and the international community.

Meanwhile, taking note of the increasing violence in Afghanistan and attack on girls and women with the Kabul school attack, in a joint call for an immediate end to attacks against human rights defenders and need for protection and accountability, Amnesty International and other human rights groups emphasized that violence must end in the country.

“From September 2020 until May 2021, a total of 17 human rights defenders have been killed, including nine journalists, based on information compiled by the Afghan Human Rights Defenders Committee (AHRDC). Nine of those killed were in the first five months of this year. During this period, over 200 human rights defenders and media representatives reported that they were receiving serious threats to the AHRDC and the Afghanistan Committee. A report published by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in February 2021, noted that 65 media practitioners and human rights defenders have been killed since 2018. In most of these cases, no perpetrators have been held to account. It is vital to uphold and prioritize freedom of expression during this critical time in Afghanistan,” the joint statement said.

The statement added that with the announcement of unconditional withdrawal and no progress on the peace process, the promotion and protection of the rights of human rights defenders and journalists does not seem to be a priority for the international players.

Calling for proper representation of women in peace talks, the statement added, “Even though rights groups and women defenders have worked continuously to engage with the peace process, the Moscow summit in March 2021 did not see effective representation of women. A peace process, or negotiation, that fails to include women representatives adequately and effectively, and in parallel engages with the Taliban without benchmarks on human rights, undermines women’s safety and progress made on human rights over the past years.”

The rights groups called for the Afghan government’s newly established joint commission to deliver on its objectives; insurance of human rights standards and the protection of human rights defenders articulated as key benchmarks for any sustainable peace process; offering human rights defenders immediate practical support on the ground at all levels; actively ensuring justice and redress for violence and threats and establishing a national monitoring mechanism, and an impartial and independent mechanism internationally to investigate the killings of human rights defenders, journalists.

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