Protesters urge world not to ignore plight of Afghans

·2-min read
People at an Afghanistan solidarity rally in Trafalgar Square (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)
People at an Afghanistan solidarity rally in Trafalgar Square (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)

Demonstrators have urged the world “not to ignore the people of Afghanistan” as they gathered in central London for a solidarity rally to oppose the Taliban

Hundreds of people attended the protest on Sunday, including women, children and those who had escaped the “brutal” regime following the fall of Kabul in August.

Many held banners calling for an end to human rights breaches and the restoration of education for women and girls.

Three Afghan mothers (names withheld) who have been on hunger strike since Thursday (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)
Three Afghan mothers (names withheld) who have been on hunger strike since Thursday (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)

Zaki Ahmad, 43, one of the event co-ordinators, said the demonstration aimed to be a “voice” for those left behind in Afghanistan.

People are here to express their concern as to how the Taliban are treating women, girls and all Afghan citizens,” he said.

“There is a genocide taking place and the entire world is sitting back and watching, they are not issuing a simple statement condemning these brutal acts.

“We are here to be the voice of them in the UK, because they are under siege, there is no food, no water, no communication.”

Similar demonstrations of solidarity have taken place throughout the week, including a protest outside Downing Street and a hunger strike by three Afghan women, who have sat opposite the Houses of Parliament since Thursday morning.

Women and children joined in the rally (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)
Women and children joined in the rally (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)

Mansoor Aman, who lived and worked in Kabul before being evacuated in August, said the country could “still be saved” despite the chaotic scenes he had witnessed first-hand.

“People are here to say not everything is lost, we can still save Afghanistan and its people,” he told the PA news agency.

“I think it’s important for the world to come together and find a solution to this devastating situation that is going on.

“This is not just the end of it, this is the start of what will be a long humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan.”

Mr Aman, 33, who had lived in Afghanistan since 2011 and worked for an accountancy firm in Kabul, was forced to flee his home and board a flight back to the UK with his pregnant cousin.

Protesters call for the people of Afghanistan not to be left to their plight (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)
Protesters call for the people of Afghanistan not to be left to their plight (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)

Describing the experience, he said: “It’s heart-breaking to see somebody else in your house, in your car and knowing there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it.

“I had to walk through the airport where I got to see the Taliban regime first-hand. What sort of regime is it when you have an AK47 in your hand and a whip to control people?

“I saw families, mothers just holding onto their little ones whilst trying to escape these people.

“It was a horror show, it’s something I’ll never forget in my life.

“This is not what we want, this is not what we have chosen. This is not what the world should allow to happen in Afghanistan.”

He added: “There is still time to save Afghanistan, not everything is lost.

“This is why we are here, to raise awareness and to tell the world ‘please, please do not leave us again.”

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