The Hazaras are a predominantly Shia Muslim ethnic group in Afghanistan.
The Hazaras are a predominantly Shia Muslim ethnic group in Afghanistan.

Taliban Forcibly Evict Minority Shia: HRW

English Taliban afghanistan human rights
Wahyu Dwi Anggoro • 22 October 2021 11:58
New York: Taliban officials in several provinces across Afghanistan have forcibly displaced residents partly to distribute land to their own supporters, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said today. 
 
According to HRW, many of these evictions have targeted Hazara Shia communities, as well as people associated with the former government, as a form of collective punishment.
 
In early October 2021,  HRW said, the Taliban and associated militias forcibly evicted hundreds of Hazara families from the southern Helmand province and the northern Balkh province following earlier evictions from Daikundi, Uruzgan, and Kandahar provinces. 

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Since the Taliban came to power in August, the human rights watchdog added, the Taliban have told many Hazaras and other residents in these five provinces to leave their homes and farms, in many cases with only a few days’ notice and without any opportunity to present their legal claims to the land. 
 
"The Taliban are forcibly evicting Hazaras and others on the basis of ethnicity or political opinion to reward Taliban supporters," said Patricia Gossman, associate Asia director at Human Rights Watch, in a press release on Friday. 
 
"These evictions, carried out with threats of force and without any legal process, are serious abuses that amount to collective punishment," Gossman added.
 
International law prohibits forced evictions, defined as the permanent or temporary removal of individuals, families, or communities against their will from their homes or land, without access to appropriate forms of legal or other protection.
 
The Hazaras are a predominantly Shia Muslim ethnic group that was the target of mass killings and other serious human rights violations by Taliban forces in the 1990s. They have faced discrimination and abuse by successive Afghan governments going back over 100 years.  
 
The forced evictions in Afghanistan are taking place at a time of record internal displacement driven by drought, economic hardship, and conflict, with 665,000 people newly displaced in 2021, even before the Taliban takeover. About four million people are displaced in the country overall.
 
"It’s particularly cruel to displace families during harvest and just before winter sets in," Gossman said. 
 
"The Taliban should cease forcible evicting Hazaras and others and adjudicate land disputes according to the law and a fair process," Gossman concluded.
 
(WAH)
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