On this World Human Rights day, UNITED SIKHS welcomes the news that more than 100 Sikhs and Hindus from Afghanistan are arriving today in Delhi on a chartered flight from Kabul.
Last week, UNITED SIKHS had responded to a call from the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB), Mr Ahmad Shaheed, for updates on Sikhs and Hindus that remained in Afghanistan following the takeover by the Taliban. The call for input was made for the preparation of his thematic report on “The Rights of Persons Belonging to Religious or Belief Minorities in Situations of Conflict and Insecurity” to be presented at the 49th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, in March 2022.
Our input was specifically on the plight of religious minorities in Afghanistan,, namely the Sikhs and Hindus, following the takeover of the State by the Taliban.
UNITED SIKHS submitted the report to the Special Rapporteur on 2nd Dec 2022 jointly with Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar, London, the largest Afghan Sikh diasporic Gurdwara, and CAP Freedom of Conscience, an NGO with consultative status at the UN.
The report stated that 30 Sikh and Hindu families, comprising 215 persons (including two new-borns), remain in Afghanistan following the American withdrawal from Afghanistan. We informed mr Shaheed that the (Sikh and Hindu) families are facing a daily threat to their lives as violence continues unabated in Afghanistan. The previous week, there was a bomb blast near the Karte Parvaan Sikh Gurdwara in Kabul. The blast shattered the windows of this historic Gurdwara and left the community terrified. The Gurudwara has been locked and guard rails have been erected’, said Mejindarpal Kaur, UNITED SIKHS International Legal Director, in the report.
The continuing attacks on Sikhs and Hindus makes it imperative for them to be protected and relocated to safe countries because there is no hope for their safety and security in Afghanistan, as evidenced by the treatment of religious minorities at the height of the Taliban insurgency in the 90s,’ she added.
Our full report may be read at the link below: