Monday, December 29, 2008

Escaping from war and hunger, dying under truck tires!

Written by Basir Ahang
Translated by Amin Wahidi

Mohammad Zahir, a thirteen year old Afghan boy who was entering Italy illegally died under truck tyres in one of Venice highways.
It has happened in Orland road of Venice on Wednesday 17 December around 10 p.m.
Many Afghan immigrants who want to enter Italy from Greece but do not have money to pay to the smugglers, they stay back in Patra Port of Greece to place themselves under the trucks that are to be transported towards Italy.

This long trip which can take up to 48 hours is considered to be a chance of survival for these teenagers because they have no other solutions; and if they would come by the help of the smugglers they would have to pay a sum of 3000 Euros from Greece to Italy.

On the other hand it is worse than Afghanistan for them to be in Greece because as soon as they arrive there, they are being captured and detained by the Greek police for weeks and when the Police mark their fingerprint, issue them a deportation letter and leave them on the streets without any responsibility.

It is said that there are about 2,000 Afghans asylum seekers in Greece and among them there are about 200 families. They live in a very bad situation as they sleep in the parks and on the roads. Only a few of them have received some tents. On the other hand the behavior of the Greek Police is reportedly very violent with them. One of these asylum seekers has said to his interview with Italian RAI TV that; “the way, the Greek police behave is worse than behavior of the Taliban, because when the Taliban use violence, at least we know their language and the reason why they do it, but in Greece not knowing the language we face the violence of the Greek police without knowing the reason.”
The Greek police are reported to be very violent, so every day many people are found broken – bones and there is no point to pursue and investigate it.

The health condition is very bad as well among them and many people are affected by tuberculoses, while most of them are under 18 and based on international immigration laws, the governments are responsible to provide these young immigrants living and studying facilities but unfortunately some European countries including Greece do not care about this part of the international laws.
Even in Italy that boasts to be the host of the highest number of refugees among the European countries, in practice, this part of the international law is not considered seriously, for instance although there are around 3500 camps and reception centers for the under 18 refugees and asylums seekers throughout the country, about 2,000 immigrants and asylum seekers are without shelter and have to sleep on the roads or in the parks out of which around 400 are the Afghans who are mostly in Rome and Milan. Based on a statistic of 2007, there are about 4500 Afghan refugees in Italy.

Recognition of the corpse
Hamid Ahmadi an Afghan filmmaker who lives in Venice says; “one day after this incident, a responsible of the Venice municipality called me and let me know about it, but still it was difficult to find the identity of the person, because the only identification document with the corpse was a deportation paper of Greece that was blood - stained and illegible, just half of the photo was all visible.”
“Four days after that, the Venice municipality has officially invited me to the police office to help them identify this corpse. When I went there, they had already found a small notebook in the pocket of the victim but they thought this young person would be an Arab as they didn’t know the similarity of the Persian and Arabic transcription.”
How sore it is when a person is recognizable only with a note that is found in his pocket. Saying this story Hamid sighed and was to cry for this painful story.

He says; “when the trucks full of exported goods are parked in the harbor to be shipped for Italy from Patra harbor Greece, these people place themselves in a part of the vehicle, even below the body frame of the vehicle so when the trucks arrive in Italy they would get off and run away there for seeking asylum. But when these vehicles are on board, the people in the bottom part would get hurt or being killed as this late incident, that is when life is in risk and people accept any kinds of risks and perils.

A real tragedy!
Indeed it is a real tragedy when a thirteen year old Afghan child finds no chance of survival in his country and risks his life in such a trip; may be in this trip there was 90 percent chance of survival for him but in his country death was chasing him for 100 percent.

Hamid Ahmadi says again; “after returning from police office, I wrote a letter to Venice municipality and explained the existing realities of Afghanistan for them.”

A part of Hamid’s letter to the Mayor of Venice
“Dear Mr. Mayor, one day you asked me about the situation of Afghanistan but I couldn’t and didn’t want to answer your question on that day because the situation in Afghanistan is worse and more complicated than only a war. And on that day I wasn’t ready to explain to you the thousand kinds of problems that the Afghans have.
Today after calling Zahir’s father, I found myself compel to answer your question. This is the situation of Afghanistan and tens of people who have the ability to escape, they abandon the country on daily basis to save their lives. This is the situation of Afghanistan when a thirteen years old child accepts risks of being killed under a truck!”

A press conference by Venice Mayer on this issue
After the Mayer of Venice received Hamid’s letter, he decided to have a press conference on this issue so the Italian people would convince the Italian government to pay more attention to the Afghan refugees in Italy.
In this important conference that was held in Venice municipality office, many journalists from different Italian media and press participated. Naqi Ehsani, Khadem Haidari, Hamid Ahmadi and Basir Ahang were the Afghan participants in this press conference.

By the participants of the press conference:

Mr. Siminiotti the deputy Mayer of Venice in social policies;
“How long will we be apathetic?”
He has addressed the border police of Italy and said; “how long would we be blind to see the realities? And how long the people who really have the right for asylum would be ignored? According to our jurisdiction as the municipality and with the available facilities we have, we should try to receive and help these people. It is the responsibility of the border police to introduce these people to us as soon as they face them.
But unfortunately this never has happened as an official statistic from last year show that around 850 Afghan asylum seekers were seen in Venice harbor but only 60 of them were introduced to social services and municipality and the rest are being deported back to Greece by the border police. “
He also added: “it is shameful for us to spend a lot of money to help people in different countries but when a 13 year old Afghan asylum seeker comes to our door there is no one to rescue him and he dies here. If we talk of humanity, and we don’t want to be the second Greece for these asylum seekers, we should have well - thought policies about these asylum seekers.”

Ms. Zanella deputy Mayor in cultural, peace and youth affairs;
“It is a tragedy and is not important how old this child was however it is the death of a human and it is of a highly importance.” She has criticized the existing bureaucracy in the right wing majority government of Italy and added: “in spite of allocating an annual budget of 3.5 million Euros for the services for the under age refugees in Venice but unfortunately this amount is not spent in an appropriate manner to solve their problems.”

Naqi Ehsani (Afghan filmmaker in Venice):
Every Afghan asylum seeker who risks his life spends a lot of money in this long perilous journey to be able to reach in a safe European country but unfortunately the European states are reluctant to hear them, they just see the apparent aspect of the case. On the other hand, they are compelled to escape as the situation in Afghanistan is worsening which is given birth by the lack of attention of the international community in this country. I should say that each of the Afghan asylum seekers is an ambassador himself and brings a message, a report and a real story from the existing realities of Afghanistan to report the situation of their country to these people. If the European people hear them, it would help them to feel and understand the situation of Afghanistan in depth but when these ambassadors arrive here, they are being mistreated or deported back because the Europeans did not yet understand the truth about Afghanistan, as if they are involved unwillingly in this country.
It should not be taken for granted that when these people are here, and the European soldiers are there in Afghanistan, a cultural exchange has taken place and currently anything is of a highly importance for Afghanistan, is actually of importance for the whole world.
When this child is killed, actually a story and a message is lost and it is a loss for both sides, the Afghans and the Europeans because a dialogue has been missed.

An Afghan girl, photo by Batoor

Basir Ahang (Afghan journalist - Udine):
Today we are here and talk about a tragedy that has taken place a week ago in Venice and for sure this would not be the first and the last tragedy of this kind. Although such stories are a kind of normal thing for the Afghans and many Afghans lose their lives on daily basis and you may know that the lives of the Afghans are almost mixed with tragic stories. But this is a different story indeed. You imagine that a thirteen year old child escapes his country to save his life, he travels a long and perilous distance to be survived but at the end his last desire is not realized and his found dead under a truck!
You may think that why these people risk their lives for such perilous journeys?
I can surely say that they are compelled to do so because unfortunately the situation of Afghanistan is so bad that no one feels secure there. And it is a simple thing that every one tries to be alive. The Karzai government is unfortunately so weak that it can not keep the security of Kabul. Violence, killing and looting is simple thing in Afghanistan. In the current year about 1500 civilians are being killed in Afghanistan in the same year about 15 young girls are being raped. All these occur in Afghanistan in the presence of military forces of 45 countries of the world. These military forces are there for the application of peace and justice but nothing has changed with their presence. People around the world are nowadays about to celebrate the new year and they are very happy, the parents are buying new year gifts for their children but instead what the Afghan parents present to their children as gift is a tomb or a grave. This is the real situation of Afghanistan!

Basir Ahang, Afghan Independent Refugee Journalist and a member of IFJ Udine - Italy

Monday, December 22, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Eid Mubarak to all Afghans

The real Eid is when there is no sign of poverty in the country. " Bashir Bakhtiari"

An artistic photo sent by Bashir Bakhtiari Afghan graphic designer, caricaturist and filmmaker

Policing Afghanistan

CLICK HERE to read the full article /commentary in The New

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Looking for a job?!!

Less job opportunities after world economy crisis

A caricature sent by Bashir Bakhtiari Afghan graphic designer, caricaturist and filmmaker

Karzai has already begun to violate the electoral law!

Note: While Karzai Administration is taking its last breathes before the elections of next year, it would be better to write and reveal the truth that how the current administration violate the electoral law and make efforts to win the election and maintain the power for another period. It is very important to the world and to the people of the countries that support this failed administration to know transparently where and for what purpose each penny they help is spent. Here is the translation of a report that was sent to Kabul Press a few months ago (at the end of April 2008).
Now in a countdown for the upcoming elections 2009 in Afghanistan we thought to post it here as an example of such violations. Please read the report.

Written by Kamran Mirhazar
Translated by Amin Wahidi
Monday 21 April 2008

Hamid Karzai the current president of the Afghan government is making preparations from now to be the winner in the next year presidential election. A reliable source, whose name is not disclosed here (for security reason), has said to Kabul Press that Hamid Karzai as his other electoral rivals would spend a tremendous amount of money in the electoral campaign to hire the influential people in different spots of Afghanistan. This source has added that in the first step, Karzai team has purchased 50 luxury vehicles and has distributed them among the powerful and influential commanders.
While the governmental budget is a part of the public wealth, it would be illegal to purchase these vehicles by the government budget in this period of time for a false purpose that is a personal interest

The commanders, who were recently gifted vehicles by Hamid Karzai, are the commanders of previous Northern Allies some of whom are in the parliament. Most of these hired commanders by the Karzai team are the people affiliated with Zarar Ahmad Moqbil the current Minister of Interior*. Some of these commanders are MPs in the parliament and some others serve as consultants for the government. Among them, familiar names are heard such as; Commander Amanullah, Mullah Taj Mohammad, Commander Almas, Commander Maulanaye Sayed Khail in Baghlan and all other commanders belong to a specific ethnic. There are also Hezb e Islami commanders as well in this list, who were promoted from lieutenant to general rank at once last year by president Karzai.
Almost a major part of these commanders who seemed to be with the National Front, are already purchased and hired by Karzai team. It is very interesting that Zalmaye Hewad who is a rhetorician of tribalism has traveled village to village in Herat to consent the people to vote for Karzai.

Some of these commanders being purchased by Karzai team are accused of war crimes and looting of public wealth.
Seeing the speed in preparation for the next year elections, it is expected that there will be more electoral violations in the next months and millions of dollars will be spent in this way.

Some of the possible nominees for the next year presidential elections are obviously affiliated with foreign countries and will appear on the campaign with their directly and indirect supports.

Among others the current president, having enough governmental resources, more than the others, has more possibility for any kind of electoral violations.

In the last parliamentary and presidential elections (2004 and 2005) that were the first ever elections in Afghanistan, the influential people of the international organizations have also made enormous embezzlements. For instance in the UNDP office (United Nation Development Program), 1100 one thousand and one hundred Russian Jeep vehicles were purchased each at 3,000 USD$ three thousand dollars but in the inventory list of elections budget they were quoted at 7,000 USD$ seven thousand dollars each, that means only in one purchase about 5,000,000 USD$ five million dollars is being embezzled by the UNDP influential people in Afghanistan.

In the coming election also millions of dollars will be spent and a big part of that will be paid by the drug traffickers and the different countries.

Considering the power and influence of some of the nominees, some of the campaigning expenses will be provided illegally from the government budget that is a gross betray to the nation.
Click here to see the original post in Kabul Press

Monday, December 1, 2008

Afghan Women

A graphic work sent by Bashir Bakhtiari Afghan graphic designer, caricaturist and filmmaker

The Hazaras abandon the ANA (Afghan National Army)

Years after Hashim Khan’s death, still his decree is strongly in force!

Written by Jafar Rezayee
Translated by Amin Wahidi

Sometime ago, MoD or the Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan announced that the number of soldiers of the army will be doubled within next four years. Good news it would be to hear about formation of an army in a militated and chaotic country like Afghanistan but the concern is about the fair and just ethnic composition in such an army that is called national.
In spite of lies of leaders of Hezb e Wahdat who call the Hazara people for silence and obedience of the current government when ever they have a chance to preach for them, claiming that justice and equality is applied through out the country but the reality is totally different.
Coincidently with the MoD announcement, the Economist Magazine published a report about the ANA which had a remark on the low presence of the Hazaras, Uzbeks, Turkmens and other deprived minority ethnicities of Afghanistan. A part of that report was translated and posted on BBC Persian website but it is clear that as always, this time either BBC didn’t publish the parts that were a bit critical on the Afghan government regarding unjust treatment with the minor or deprived ethnicities. But for sure there are always people who read the BBC English about Afghanistan and easily find the differences of such censors between English and Persian versions of the same report about the Hazaras of Afghanistan and Karzai’s insufficiency that have been many times criticized in the English version but were never published on the Persian version of BBC so far.

“However, the Economist Magazine, in addition to remark on the unjust representation of the Hazaras in the ANA, has quoted from a Hazara Officer in the Army that he has never been promoted because of his ethnicity and thus he is going to quit the army.”

That is not a Hazara officer’s predestination in the ANA but is the destiny of all Hazaras in the army as the facts show. Along the history, the Hazaras have always had a little presence in the army and still the decree of Hashim Khan is in force in the country against the Hazaras although not formally but in unwritten forms. In this decree it was stated that the Hazaras are not allowed to have access in higher levels of education and military schools. It seems that no one wants a Hazara work in a governmental office and have a personality.

Seeing the symbolic presence of the Hazaras as extras on the political stage of Afghanistan not only in Karzai’s cabinet and Afghanistan’s foreign political agencies but in the lower levels in the Army and Police as well, we can say, years after his death, still Hashim Khan’s decree is strongly in force.

Here there is no need to blame the people continuing Hashim khan’s movement but the silence of Hazara writers and intellectuals is questionable in this important period of time when the issue of social justice and ethnic equality is very critical for the Hazaras to get their rights as well as for all the other Afghans in Afghanistan.

Click Here to read The Economist Magazine report on ANA
Afghanistan’s army Good news from Arghandab

Jafar Rezayee
An Afghan Hazara student in Canada
Writer- researcher

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The logic and mentality of the Tailban

A caricature sent by Bashir Bakhtiari Afghan graphic designer, caricaturist and filmmaker

The enemies at the gates!

Enter Deedenow Cinema Production Afghanistan to read the full article/commentary by CLICKING HERE

The Dragon enters!

Enter Deedenow Cinema Production Afghanistan to read the full article/commentary by CLICKING HERE

The God-fathers of the Taliban 2

Enter Deedenow Cinema Production Afghanistan to read the full article/commentary by CLICKING HERE

The God-fathers of the Taliban (1)

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Targeting Afghanistan!

A caricature sent by Bashir Bakhtiari Afghan graphic designer, caricaturist and filmmaker

Possibility of acceleration in diverge of the Afghan Government

Written By Razaq Mamoon
Translated by Amin Wahidi

After his return from London Karzai’s statements were actually heavy strikes that stroke the strong fences of his governmental power. And now a part of Karzai’s governmental sovereignty castle is blown up by himself and there is no immunity as existed before.
As their usual habits, may be president’s associates assume such analysis as continuous critics of a group dissatisfied of the government, but they know that the truth is trustworthy by whoever it is said.

Mr. Karzai has emphasized in his speech that if the western countries do not accept his vicinity Mullah Omar and other leaders of the Taliban, should they dismiss him or leave Afghanistan.
Such statements seem to be strange in a country where a constitution and other fixed legal frameworks exist. Yet Afghanistan is obliged to heed and respect a series of international protocols and disciplines that are being signed and agreed by this country with the other countries.

Mr. Karzai, who always shows trend to the Taliban, has to explain to the people and to the opposition parties the details, the geographic places of the negotiations as well as the key points being raised in the negations and finally should gain the support and approval of the parliament based on clause 2 of article 64 of the constitution of Afghanistan. But it is seen that the president has not referred to any laws in force in the country through legal approaches.
Undoubtedly his late action questions legitimacy of his decision makings and as well as his statements.

Based on the explanations embodied in the preface and in the article 7 of the constitution of Afghanistan which is being singed and endorsed by Mr. Karzai himself as the president, Afghanistan is obliged to respect and observe the charter of The United Nations, International Conventions, International Declaration of the Human Rights and the oaths taken to prevent terrorist attacks in the governance affairs.

It is obvious that inclusion of the Taliban and Al Qaeeda leaders in the International Black List is a definite case which is documented in the UN Security Council archives. Hence President Karzai does not have the authority to act against UN Security Council approved documents and the articles of Afghanistan constitution, to ask Mullah Omar and his collaborators to take part in the government (based on the sensations and personal commitments with the others), while doing it he overrides whatsoever were considered to be the glittering achievements of the government.

The emphasis by Karzai on negations with Taliban is coincidence with acme of variety of violence by them and a convulsive fear is overshadowing on public opinion inside and outside the country about the Taliban re-empowerment; fiercely killing of 27 persons from Laghman, pouring acid on the faces of school girls, beheading and videotaping the bloody horrible scenes, threatening and burning schools in different corner of Afghanistan has agitated the human conscience but without considering all these problems Mr. Karzai call them brothers and invite them for power sharing in the government.

On the other hand, campaigning against terrorism, Al Qaeeda and the Taliban is explicitly mentioned in the Afghan - US Strategic Cooperation Treaty which is confirmed and endorsed but Mr. Karzai. As said by Dr. Noor Mohammad Daadkhah, the experienced Afghan Diplomat, Karzai can fulfill his attempts if he evicts membership of Afghanistan from the United Nation and annuls the constitution of Afghanistan and all other International protocol frameworks in his policies.

The internal consequences of president’s statements
A question rises here, “did president Karzai consult about it with the cabinet members, the parliament and the supreme court about it before warning unidentified foreign addresses?” and the answer is negative. But still if Mr. Karzai claims that he has consulted with the Jihadi Leaders or the members of Tribal Jirga in this regard, it doesn’t make a sense of legitimacy because nowhere in the constitution of Afghanistan the Jihadi Leaders or the Tribal Jirga are mentioned to be official entities.
More than this, the members of the cabinet members of the current government understand the gradually at the same time serious consequences of president’s warning statements to the international community. Thus it could causes the current cabinet members and other important government officials isolate the current government instead they would approach themselves to the United States and other countries that oppose Karzai’s position.
Although the ministers still have their tight links with the western courtiers they have come from, but they will be changed into the factors of instability of the current government system, especially after President’s latest statements which are in contrast with the constitution as well as with the international conventions.
Undoubtedly this situation can be the beginning of diverge that weaken the executive and managerial power of the government.

It is amazing that now Mr. President makes such statements against the countries that made efforts and invested huge amounts of financial resources to bring him on power and maintain for seven years. Mr. Karzai now not being accountable to the people for his own and his team’s performances brings a new transcript from London to apply on Afghans and the international community.

Although the intention of these statements aren’t unrelated to the electoral campaign but it shouldn't be taken for granted that the international community takes it serious.
Some of the analysts believe that Karzai’s vicinity with the UK- Saudi – Pak triangle has increased the efforts to apply Talibanism once again on the social- political system of Afghanistan.
Saudi Arabia makes efforts to gain what this country could not obtain when was officially supporting the Taliban in late 1990s, but this time through gathering and compromise framework.
It is clear that a conservative government the kind of Taliban is in favor of Saudi Arabia and creates firewalls to block Iran’s influences in the region but they do not think what would happen to poor Afghan people.

Mr. President should first respond about the horrible genocides took place by the Taliban during their sovereignty in Bamyan, Shamali and Mazare Sharif and then if we takes the responsibility of all those historical violence, he would rather announce it officially.

Razaq Mamoon, Afghan writer, journalist researcher and analyst

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The essence of the Taliban

A caricature sent by Bashir Bakhtiari Afghan graphic designer, caricaturist and filmmaker

The eight most threatened journalists in Afghanistan

The eight most threatened journalists in Afghanistan
Men and women journalists who are paying a huge price for excercising their right to freedom of speech

Written by Kamran Mirhazar

A symptom of the continuing collapse of human rights and freedom of speech in Afghanistan, much of which has been sanctioned by officials in the Karzai government, has been the harassment and abuse of journalists who present stories critical of the government. The following eight journalists have been suffering stress and financial hardship, due to on-going threats regarding their journalistic work. There are many more, which will continue to follow.

Razaq Mamoon
Razaq Mamoon is one of Afghanistan’s best known writers and journalists. He worked for the BBC as a journalist, was editor of Radio Azadi, and hosted a well-known roundtable called “Discussion” for Tolo TV. He has authored three books, “Raz-e-Khabida”, a documented story about Dr. Najibullah, the late communist president, who was under U.N. protection at the time of his abduction and murder by a member of the Taliban, Abdul Khaliq, who killed dictator Nadir Khan. His third book is “Zelzela” or “Earthquake.” Currently, Razaq Mamoon is the chief editor of a daily paper, “Payman”.

Mamoon’s “Roundtable” on Tolo TV was an investigative news video magazine that challenged high ranking officials like finance minister Anwarulhaq Ahadi. Because of alleged continuing pressure from Karzai’s team and the president of the lower house of parliament, Younos Qanooni, Tolo TV and its managers, finally discharged Razaq Mamoon.
Now, no government nor non-governmental organization will employ him. High-ranking officials are pressuring the license holder and financer of “Payman” to discharge him. He expects to lose his job there soon.

Razaq Mamoon regularly receives death threats from different sources. The alleged murderer of Dr. Najibullah, Gharzai Khakhogi, who was incriminated by documents in Mamoon’s book, had allegedly planned to kill him. Khakhogi was working as the vice-mayor in Kabul and allegedly paid two terrorists to kill Mamoon. Security organizations discovered and foiled the plot.
Mir Ali Asghar Akbarzada
Mir Ali Asghar Akbarzada had a well-known program called “Mirror of the City” on Afghan National TV. In August, 2008, he was discharged from the network by cultural minister Karim Khoram. Akbarzada recently exposed corruption regarding the Intercontinental Hotel. It involved high ranking officials like national security advisor to the president, Zalmay Rasool, and commerce minister Mohamad Amin Farhang. President Hamid Karzai had granted a no-bid contract to operate the hotel to a company called Freecom for 30 years at only $100,000.00 per year. For four years The Intercontinental Hotel was contracted by Freecom costing millions of dollars in lost government revenue.

Akbarzada had also revealed that more than 120,000 square kilometers of land in the eastern province Nangarhar was provided to one of the land mafia, Nazib Zarab, by Karzai. Akbarzada still has documents showing evidence of that bribe. He is unemployed and was threatened by gunmen several times. He was targeted near the office of chief police in Kabul, but the attack was unsuccessful.

Mohammad Amin Haqjoo
Mohammad Amin Haqjoo is the director of a program on Afghan National TV called “Seeking the Truth.” His program follows cases of murder and kidnapping. He has been threatened several times by armed groups.

Mohammad Hakim Nazari Paryani
Paryani is the news editor of “Payman” newspaper. After publishing a document in “Payman,” that shows Mullah Omar had a hand in killing Mullah Dadullh, the spokesman of the Taliban, Mullah Zabihullah Mujahid called him and threatened him. A few days later, Paryani was stopped by two unknown persons close to his house in the Qale Zaman Khan area (where attackers of the Serena hotel were detained), who asked him to publish a news story that refuted the original. For more than fifteen days he was forced to live in his office or in a friend’s home. Unknown persons have visited his house and asked to see him. He is worried about the safety of his family.

Mobarak Shah Shahram
Shahram worked for Tolo TV on a political satire program called “Lahzaha.” He now works for the “Payman” newspaper. Very recently, persons who looked like Taliban and included a Pakistani man, tried to kidnap him while returning home via taxi. The area was Qala Zaman Khan in Kabul where most members of the Taliban and Hikmatyar’s group are located.
Sayed Nasir Taghadosi
Taghadosi is the chief editor of a newspaper called “Omid e Farda”. After publishing several critical articles about Karzai’s cabinet and the deteriorating political situation, government attorneys opened a case against him. He cannot find a job in government or nongovernmental organizations and faces financial difficulties.
Zahra Moosawi
Ms. Moosawi was a news announcer on Tolo TV, but after receiving various and continuing threats, she is now afraid to leave her home. She had worked for Radio Azadi for 5 years, and had a program called “Morabay e Morch” before joining Tolo TV. The situation for women journalists is deteriorating, and after receiving these threats, she felt forced to quit Tolo TV. She is an educated investigative journalist.

Soheila Weda Khamoosh
Ms. Shoheila Weda Khamoosh works for the “Cheragh” newspaper. Two years ago, when there was a large demonstration in Kabul against Americans, she wrote an article about how security services tortured children who were detained that day. She was detained in the attorney general’s office for half an hour and threatened with violence if she published the article. After it was published in Cheragh, she was threatened by unknown people via telephone. Soon after, a car she was riding in was closely followed by another without licenses plates. Last year, a school principal, Abdulhadi Dawi, attacked her after she had published a report that students were drinking alcohol in school on Teachers Day.

Last year when Khamoosh was preparing a report on document forgery in the office of Official Reform, she was attacked by Jamila Aman, an advisor in that office. Last year, she reported that the published book of the Afghan constitution was printed by the USAID in Pakistan. In that report she stated that Gohar, USAID’s media officer is a Pakistani. Soon after, she and her friends were put under surveillance by the Pakistani government. This year, she was threatened and cursed while at work by police in area number two of Kabul. She continues receiving threats from unknown people. Cars with blacked our windows regularly follow her on the street.
For information about how to help these journalists, go to the Foundation for Free Speech in Afghanistan.
Click Here to see the original post in Kabul Press

Monday, November 24, 2008

The whole details about Parwez Kambakhsh

Click Here to know more about Parwez Kambaskh
The Afghan Journalist accused for Blasphemy, imprisoned for 20 years in Kabul Afghanistan

Will Bashardost be an Obama for Afghanistan?!!

Ramazan Bashardost currently a Hazara MP in the lower house and the former minister of planning who has officially announced his candidature in the presidential election 2009, seem to run more hopeful than the other presumptive candidates for the presidential seat because of his popularity among the Afghan people of different ethnics.

Dr. Ramazan Bashardost’s popularity is not only limited to the Hazaras the ethnic he belongs to, but different people of Afghanistan like him and support him since he has appeared on the political ground of Afghanistan with a nation wide slogan of;
“No ethnic is better than the other; every one should be considered for justice”.

First he belongs to an ethnic that has suffered discriminations and prejudice for years in Afghanistan while there are other specific characteristics regarding him that make the people hopeful for him;

He has a PHD in the Law and political science from France*

He has served as minister of planning in the transitional administration of Afghanistan in 2004- 2005

He has been serving as an elected member of the parliament in the lower house since the establishment of the recent Parliament of Afghanistan

He has been the main critic of the policies and the functioning of the current administration for supporting the warlords, promoting the admin corruption and lack of attention to the poor and lower class category people of the society

He has been the main critic of Karzai on his wrong economic planning and strategies

In 2004-05 when he was the minister of planning, he suspended licenses of more than one thousand national and international NGOs in Afghanistan who were accused of embezzlement and annulled some of them

And like Obama he has been emphasizing on the transparency in the governmental offices, policies and strategies

Considering Ramazan Bashardost’s transparent struggle against the admin corruption in Afghanistan and the need and expectation of the Afghans for a real change in the current situation of Afghanistan, millions of the Afghans think that Ramazan Bashardost could be the real man in the coming electoral campaign to win and bring changes in the country.

See Ramazan Bashardost's Website

Aakhund (semi literated religious scholar)

A Caricature sent by Bashir Bakhtiari Afghan graphic designer, caricaturist and filmmaker

Friday, November 21, 2008

One year after mysterious bloody suicide attack of Baghlan

Let’s know and introduce the traitors and foreign hirelings
Last year these days when the suicide attack occurred in Baghlan, tens of civilians were killed but the media coverage only focused on the parliamentarians especially on Sayed Mustafa Kazimi who was killed as well in this tragedy.

Nowadays, one year after that bloody attack, is there any security official among the Karzai administration to report the development on the investigation of Baghlan suicide attack in which more than sixty civilians were killed including many school children? The answer is; diffidently no!

On the other hand it is now on us to introduce the people who were introduced differently to the society but the fact is the vice versa.

Last year on November 7th in a bloody suicide attack, Sayed Mustafa Kazimi along with five other members of parliament and many civilians were killed in Baghlan province north Afghanistan while they were on an official visit of reopening ceremony of Baghlan Sugar factory* in this province.

Later on National Front, the political front in which Sayed Mustafa Kazimi was the speaker and the chairman of the political committee when was alive, claimed that Sayed Mustafa Kazimi was actually assassinated by gun firing after the suicide attack and they have seen four to five bullet holes on his body.

As they claimed, the bullet marks on the deaden body of Mustafa Kazimi was shown to the media and press that Sayed Mustafa Kazimi was fired by gun after that suicide attack.
It would be interesting to review a bit of his life background including his political activities to find out more about his personality and the reason of his assassination.

Has the IRI regime found a successor for Sayed Mustafa Kazimi yet?
The Qods Day Celebration in Kabul after the month of Ramazan, and then the suspicious activities being run by the Ayatullah Shaikh Asef Mohseni Kandahari, Sayed Ali Javed, Sayed Hadi Hadi, Mohammad Akbari and their followers, show that the IRI Regime is still hopeful and optimistic to have their bases again in Afghanistan under the name of religious and cultural activities.
After Sayed Mustafa Kazimi was killed last year, for a time, the IRI officials may have been planning to find a successor for Kazimi in Afghanistan to follow the activities he did.
Thus Khatamunabeein Islamic Center and Tamadon Television both run by Ayatullah Sheikh Asef Mohseni Kandahari where the boys and girls study religious lessons could be a good point for the IRI Regime to centralize their activities for the coming years.

Click here to see the Khatamunabeen Islamic Center in Kabul
Click here to see Tamadon TV website
Click here to see the Qods Day Celebration day in Kabul

Why was Sayed Mustafa Kazimi assassinated?
Sayed Mustafa Kazimi, MP and the former minister of commerce in the Karzai Cabinet who was killed in a pre planned dramatic suicide attack in Baghlan Province during an official visit last year, was a very valuable political figure for the IRI regime.

Kazimi’s gradually political jump and his artifice how to move parallel in every step with the political flow of the country since early 1990s, showed that he was a good apprentice of the IRI politicians for the time of formation of political fractions and opposition groups in political ground of Afghanistan in the later years.

His role play crafts in the political games of the last decade, when he found a place as a religious figure among the Hazaras and then as a political ally with the Tajiks during the civil war of 1990s, attracted the IRI regime to open an account on him with tremendous amount for the later years when there will be a chance for the IRI to use him as a political tool in the country.

Based on this fact, when Kazimi stayed in Iran since the Mujahedin’s overthrown by the Taliban in 1994 until the Bonn Agreement took place in late 2001, he has expanded his relationship with the IRI regime senior officials as a main relying point to have his later projects in post Taliban period after 2002 . Although this was not the only period he moved to Iran while he was in Iran in his youth where he has studied as said by his relatives.

Kazimi has had a presence in Bonn Conference in late 2001, and then was appointed as the minister of commerce in both the interim and transitional governments following the Bonn Agreement.

Later in 2005 when the parliament was going to be established he ran in the parliamentary election from Kabul and was elected as an MP from Kabul.

Within the Parliament in Kabul
Having adequate financial resources provided by the IRI Regime, Mr. Kazimi was feeding his Party Iqtedar e Milli (The National Sovereignty) with a huge expense where he had his party’s publication at the same time, he could expand his relationships with the economical figures he got to know during the ministry of commerce and influenced the parliamentarians when he became the chairman for the economical committee of the parliament as well as the chairman of Isteqlal (independence) parliamentary group.

There were some of the reasons that made Sayed Mustafa Kazimi a real pain -in- neck for Karzai administration and he was assassinated in a dramatic suicide attack last year in Baghlan province.

In his late speeches and press conferences when represented the National Front, Sayed Mustafa Kazimi would approve to be a real and frank critic of Karzai Administration as well as one of the main brains of the National Front that is the main and the largest opposition group in the country.

Based on the role he played in the political games in the past the IRI Regime had opened a tremendous account on him with a huge financial resources whereas he would run his party, would feed his publication and supported many educational centers as campaigning centers for him and his party and the IRI Regime in Kabul.

He would be considered as a definite nominee by the National Front for the presidential election of 2009 that could be a serious challenge for Karzai

From 2002 up to 2005 he has shown a step by step evolution in the political ground of Afghanistan as well as his interrelation with the economical decision – makers and investors such as chamber of commerce and members of AISA during and after the time of his ministry demonstrated his leadership capability being built in him by the support of IRI Regime.

His influence in the lower house that resulted him not only to be the chairman of the economical committee but also the leader of a parliamentary group called ISTEQLAL, would help him make an anti western mobilization within the lower house of the parliament that was also supported by the IRI Regime.

Last year after his murder, the BBC Persian website wrote the following lines on his political life:

This part is written by: Dawood Naaji BBC Persian Correspondent in Kabul
Translated by Amin Wahidi

Sayed Mustafa Kazimi from Jihad time up to the Parliament

Sayed Mustafa Kazimi a notable member of the Afghan Parliament was killed with some other parliamentarians and many civilians in a suicide bloody attack in Baghlan yesterday.

Mr. Kazimi was a notable Afghan political figure in the recent years. He was born in 1959 in Lolinge a village in Parwan province.

In his youth, he left Kabul and joined Sepaah e Pasdaran e Inqilab e Islami e Afghanistan (Afghanistan Islamic Revolution Guarding Force) led by Mohammad Akbari to fight against the communists.

On that time he was mostly residing in Iran.

Hezb e Wahdat (The Islamic United Party of Afghanistan)
In the year 1989 when the eight Afghan Shiite Parties that were established in Iran all came together and formed Hezb e Wahdat e Islami Afghanistan (United Islamic Party of Afghanistan) Sayed Mustafa Kazimi was a member of the central council of this party.

In the years when Hezb e Wahdat under Abdul Ali Mazari Leadership was fighting against the Mujahedeen Government of Burhanudin Rabani (early 1990s), this party was diverge into two parts; Mr. Kazimi supported the part lead by Mohammad Akbari.

Coalition with Rabani and Masoud
Kazimi and his party Hezb e Wahdat of Akbari part joined with the government of Rabani and became a member of the leadership council of the government.

His cooperation and support continued with Ahmad Shah Masoud thereafter and once he organized a joint attack on Hezb e Wahdat forces of Karim Khalili branch in order to conquer Bamyan.

Sayed Mustafa Kazimi stayed with Ahmad Shah Masoud and become a member of Afghan Defense National Front which was later famous as the Northern Allies.

As minister in Karzai Government
After the collapse of the Taliban, Sayed Mustafa Kazimi was a representative of The Northern Allies in Germany Bonn Agreement on Afghanistan Issues.
And then become the minister of commerce in both interim and transitional states of Afghanistan.

Presence in the Parliament
In the first parliamentary election of Afghanistan, Sayed Mustafa Kazimi ran for the office from Kabul and was elected as a representative from Kabul.

Soon he became a notable member in the parliament and took the presidency of Economy Committee of the parliament while at the same time he administered a parliamentary group called ISTEQLAL (independence).

The relatives of Sayed Mustafa Kazimi say that during the years of Jihad (the holy war against the former USSR) he had completed his studies in a half private university in Iran as well as in the recent years, he was a far distance student of Iranian University of Piam e Noor for a Masters Degree.

With the National Front political group
The latest political attempt of Sayed Mustafa Kazimi was membership in the National Front of Afghanistan that is the main opposition group in the country where many other former Mujahedeen leaders and communist party members have membership.
Mustafa Kazimi was the chairman of the political committee and the spokes person for the National Front.

He had three sons and three daughters when he was killed.

Click here to see the original post of BBC Persian

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Will Karim Khoram support this project?!

Afghanistan towards La Biennale di Venezia
Lately a group of the Afghan Artists residing in Italy has come together in Venice with some Italian art activists to evaluate the possibilities of presence of Afghanistan in the International Biannual Contemporary Arts Festival of La Biennale di Venezia for the year 2009.

It would be the second time in the history of La Biennale di Venezia since its establishment in between 1895 - 1907 that Afghanistan is going to represent traces, while the first time and only for once in 2005 Afghanistan had a presence in this festival with Afghan Artists in Europe and America. But this time, four years after first representation, the working group is making efforts to establish a permanent pavilion for Afghanistan in the La Biennale that would expose Afghanistan’s unaccustomed art and culture not only to the Italians but to a variety of nations who have permanent representation there every two years.

The official committee of La Biennale in the Giardini di Venezia where this biannual festival is held does the formal protocols with the ministries of culture or its equivalent structure of the countries and based on its agreements provides the place for the pavilions while the logistical supports and the primary materials for the construction of the pavilion, transportation of arts traces etc all have to be provided by the countries representing their arts.

The talks in this regard have begun these days and the administrative works are getting done in the primary levels, while there are a lot of challenges and problems ahead of this project.

To be optimistic this would be an important happening that would have a contemporary image of Afghanistan to the world through the art works of the Afghan Artists but still there are doubts if the government of Afghanistan is going to support this project seriously.

The first challenge would be the lack of capacity and intelligence in the Minister of Information and Culture to understand the value and importance of this project as a part of his responsibility.

While the Ministry of Information and Culture is a government structure for promoting and supporting cultural - artistic activities, unfortunately the minister is not an artist but has proved to be a fundamentalist Mullah.

With a strict religious background and obstinate behavior, Karim Khoram, promotes fundamentalism in the country instead of supporting the arts and culture projects; opposing the reopening of a cinema in Herat, banning on Indian soap operas on Afghan television channels, rejecting the Bamyan Buddha Statue reconstruction project, expelling media workers for using their mother tongue in their reports etc are the clear examples of his fundamentalist attempts.
Considering that the Afghan governmental budget is still dependent on the foreign aids, the project seem to face financial resources which needs other solutions such as referring to the private sectors as the partners after the formal and administrative protocols are finalized. That could be a solution.

La Biennale Internazionle di Venezia, held in Giardini di Venezia every two years, is a chance artistic- cultural appearance of different nations …… Read more …..
By Amin Wahidi

Monday, November 17, 2008

Afghanistan LongTongue on the way

Voice of Criticism
Another blog to reflect the Afghan intellectuals’ writings in English

Soon my second blog is ready to reflect the writings, opinions and discussions of the accredited Afghan writers, researchers and intellectuals in English for the people of world interest in and concerned about Afghanistan.

In this page we reflect the writings and criticisms of the Afghan as well as foreigner intellectuals, writers and bloggers on issues such as Politics - Governance - Civil Society - Human Rights & Freedom of Expression in Afghanistan.

The main goal of this blog is to create a space for dialogue and sharing writings, opinions and criticisms for a positive purpose and that is bringing changes and making better the functioning of the government body, the rule of law and to promote the civil society in the country.

As we work for a better Afghanistan, we believe that the positive criticism is always a maker and thus we share with you in this page the writings and opinions of the writers, bloggers and researchers who are known to be Long Tongue Writers* in this way every one can judge the progress of process of young democracy in war effected Afghanistan.

Following the motto, “We are also to bring changes in our country”, and by the help of the writers and intellectuals through this blog we are to see how we can bring changes in the strategy of the International Community in the tiresome and long lasting war in Afghanistan by lobbying the decision makers through providing pure and real information and consultations through real eyes based on the existing realities in this country.

While inviting and welcoming the Afghan writers, researchers and intellectuals for sending their writings for translation and posting in this blog, we would accept and appreciate writings about Afghanistan in English by the foreign writers and researchers who believe in changes in Afghanistan.

Give us hands of support and be the first ones to send your Dari writings to be translated in a standard quality and to be posted in this blog.

* Long Tongue (zaban daraz in Dari) is a Dari Persian phrase for the person who has a critical language.