Slideshow presentation: Afghan refugees in Paris speak out
29 December 2011
Last October marked the tenth anniversary of the US-led military assault and occupation of Afghanistan. The ongoing neo-colonial war has had a devastating impact on the Afghan people. According to some estimates, up to 100,000 refugees left Afghanistan in the first five months of this year alone, most of them youth.
Only a few thousand Afghan refugees complete the long and dangerous trip to Europe. Those with English-language skills attempt to make the UK their final destination but closure of the Calais detention centre in 2009 has meant that most are unable to cross the English Channel and remain stranded in France.
The following multimedia presentation tells the story of three homeless Afghan refugees in Paris. These young men, like their older companions, face tremendous suffering. Homeless and lacking food or money, they spend their days in public parks or walking the city searching for a warm place to sleep. On weekdays some secure a rudimentary meal from refugee or welfare organisations. During the weekends and public holidays they are left to starve. Police harassment is constant.
According to a 2010 UNHCR report, Afghanistan had the largest number of refugees—a total of three million spread across 75 different countries. The same report concluded, however, that there were no Afghan refugees in France. In other words, the refugees interviewed in Paris for this slideshow do not even exist as a statistic.
US civilian played a key role in drone strike that killed 15 innocent Afghan men, women and children in 2010: here.
The youngest victims in Afghanistan. The survey says about half of the deaths of children below 5 years are caused by respiratory infections or infectious or parasitic diseases. Read more: here.
ONLY one in four Australian soldiers wounded during the war in Afghanistan have been able to return to full duty, and soldiers fighting there face the possibility of developing mental disorders earlier than other Australians, according to the military’s top medical officer: here.
An interview with Malalai Joya, Afghani activist and former politician: here.
The Death of Pvt. Danny Chen: Military Admits Chen Was Target of Race-Based Hazing on Daily Basis (Video). Amy Goodman, Democracy NOW!: “U.S. Army investigators have released explosive new details about the death of Private Danny Chen, who allegedly took his own life just weeks after he was deployed to Afghanistan last October. The family of the 19-year-old Chinese-American soldier says the Army told them Chen had been abused by comrades on an almost daily basis”: here.
Two British private security contractors and two of their Afghan colleagues have been arrested by police in Kabul and told to close their company after 30 AK-47 rifles were found in their car boot: here.
Electricity only reaches one in three Afghans: here.
Seasonal hardship is nothing new for Afghans, but a combination of factors is making this winter harder to bear as the number of displaced soars in Kabul: here.
The U.S. government can’t credibly insist that the Afghans improve their justice system and treatment of detainees if the U.S. military doesn’t first get its own detention house in order: here.
Instead of releasing prisoners held without charge or trial – inc. Yunus Rahmatullah – US is enlarging Bagram prison: here.
US reliance on Afghan paramilitaries in rural areas worries European allies: here.