4 April 2015
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By Soheila Haidari
On the evening of Sunday, March 29, 2015, a group of Afghans who are resident of Gothenburg gathered together in Gustav Adolf Square to condemn the heartbreaking incident, which led to murdering and burning of a young woman in Afghanistan named Farkhunda. They expressed their feelings regarding the incident and shared their sympathy with Farkhunda’s family.
People came to the square a few hours before the event. Soon they started to decorate the Gustav Adolf Square with the candles and some posters that they had brought. The posters, which were designed and printed by themselves had pictures of Farkunda, her name and sentences to condemn the incident. The participants wrote Farkunda’s name on the ground with the candles to show how they felt after she has been lynched in the most painful way. Most participants were saddened and regretful after the incident and the following news of the murdering, which showed one of the most influential religious figures of Kabul has supported the lynching.
People were chanting: “Farkhunda will never die”, “We are all Farkunda”, “Farkhunda is a victim of religious ignorance”, and “We want justice for Farkhunda”. They also asked for the release of the 31 Hazara, which have been abducted since more than one month ago in Afghanistan.
Presence of people from France, Kurdistan, Iran, China, and also the altruist and philanthropist people of Sweden among the Afghans in this gathering, clarified this reality that it was not only Afghans who were affected by the painful murder of Farkhunda, but also people from all around the world became sad by this news.
The gathering was held to fight against misogyny and human rights violation, to defense the gender equality, to ask to respect the humidity values, and to call justice for Farkhunda and also all women of Afghanistan, which has been under injustice and tyranny for so many years.
Some of the Afghan civil society activists and literature figures shared their views and comments about the incident in this gathering.
At the beginning, Mr. Azizullah Nahofta, the Afghan writer and cultural activist read his message on denouncing of Farkhunda’s murder.
Then, Ms. Soosan Saberi, the Iranian activist of from the “Free woman and Civil Society in Gothenburg” read her message, which was about asking justice for Farkhunda and also women rights violation.
Ms. Saberi mentioned that Farkhunda’s name will be on Afghanistan history for ever. She added that her name will be equal to gender equality movement and modern fights for women rights in Afghanistan and other countries. She also said: “There are millions of Farkunda in the world, which are victims of Taliban, ISIS, Boko Haram, Al Shabab, Islamic Regime of Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other states like them.”
Later on, Linnea Larsson, as the Afg-Sweden Committee representative talked about the incident: “We do not accept the negotiation with conservative and patriarchal forces. We are looking to discuss this situation widely with all parts of Afghanistan society.” She appreciated from the committee of the organizers and continued: “This incident was not only related to Afghanistan, but also related to all women of the world. In this case, we ask our country to be more sensitive about situation of women in Afghanistan.”
Sara Harman, civil activist, shared her feelings and sadness by reading a poem on the sorrow of Farkhunda’s loss.
Aref Farman, the Afghan novelist and cultural activist was the next speaker who read his belletristic message and said this heartbreaking crime was done because of misusing of some religious leaders from people’s feelings and added that Farkhunda became a victim of their stupidity, ignorance and malice.
Aref Farman said: “Farkhunda’s murder revealed the religious leader’s stupidity and unreasonable politicians.”
Mrs. Rokhshana, a member of Afghan-Sweden committee and social activist read a poem in Swedish. She shared her feelings of sorrow with the audiences and announced her disagreement with such kinds of crimes.
At the end, Mrs. Soheila Haidari, Responsible for the committee that organized the event of Farkhunda’s memorial read the statement of the committee, and condemned the painful crime and expressed her sympathy with Farkhunda’s family. She also asked to solve this kinds of problems deeply so it wouldn’t happen again.
The goals of gathering, which are mentioned in the statement are as follows:
- 1. Stop religious discrimination and Islamic radicalism. And ban all kinds of radicalism fetishistic activities and superstitious jobs, such as soothsaying, divination, foretelling, and etc…
- 2. Confirm and approve of the complete version of prevention of violence against women act as soon as possible.
- 3. Recognition, capture, and retribution of those who were involved in the heartbreaking lynching of Farkhunda. In this regard, all of those who caused the incident, including the instigators, appellants, motivators, justifiers, and vindicators should be arrested. Specially we ask to bring Molavi Ayaz Niazi to the court. He is the religious figure who justified the lynching and is encouraging religious discrimination and Islamic radicalism.
- 4. Creation of a committee by the Afghan government to observe and control the activities of Ulema Council, missionaries, Mosques, and religious shools.
- 5. One of the main reasons, which caused the incident was the irresponsibility and failure of the police forces. We ask the Afghan government to reprimand and punish the responsible people at the Ministry of Interior, specially the Minister and Kabul General Commander.
- 6. We ask the Afghan government to investigate and handle the issue of 31 Hazara passengers who have been abducted for several months.
- 7. We ask from other governments, the international organizations, communities, and legal assemblies to follow up the elimination of racial discrimination and gender bias, and elimination of violence against women from Afghanistan.
Then Mr. Zalmay Kava, cultural and social activist shared his comments on the incident and its effects on the society.
Kava said: “It is so important to separate the religion from politics, and to stop intervention of religious leaders in the lives of people.”
At the end he read the statement of the committee of Farkhunda’s memorial event organizers in Swedish.