Afghan refugees interviewed

By Shantan Kumarasamy:

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.

USA: US Air Force dumped more soldiers’ dead bodies at landfill.

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.

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.

Al-Qaeda started emerging in Somalia in the 1990s when some of the Somali fighters who had joined the anti-Soviet struggle in Afghanistan started returning home: here.

12 thoughts on “Afghan refugees interviewed

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  2. Afghanistan arrests British contractors with guns

    By AHMAD MASSIEH NESHAD Associated Press

    Posted: 01/05/2012 04:48:53 AM PST
    Updated: 01/05/2012 06:14:54 AM PST

    KABUL, Afghanistan—Afghan police arrested two British private security contractors and two Afghan colleagues and ordered their company closed down after finding a cache of weapons in their vehicle, an official said Thursday. They are being held for investigation into illegal arms transport.

    Their detention spells the latest trouble for Afghanistan’s dozens of private security companies that guard supply convoys, development projects and private businesses. President Hamid Karzai has ordered all the protection companies shut down by March, to be replaced by a unified government-run protection force.

    Police who stopped the contractors’ vehicle at a Kabul checkpoint Tuesday found more than two dozen AK-47 rifles in a metal box covered by a blanket, Ministry of Interior spokesman Sediq Sediqi told a press briefing.

    All 30 weapons had their serial numbers scratched off, and the men had no permits for them, so police arrested all four men on suspicion of illegal arms transport, Sediqi said. He said the case has been sent to Afghanistan’s attorney general for investigation.

    Authorities ordered the immediate shutdown of Afghanistan operations of their company, the international security consulting firm GardaWorld, and are questioning other company employees.

    “They have to pay all the dues they owe to the government of Afghanistan, and they cannot operate any more after that,” Sediqi said.

    GardaWorld had no immediate comment Thursday. The security firm specializes in high-risk areas around the world, with offices in Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and Haiti.

    A spokesman for the British Embassy said it was monitoring the case and providing consular services to the two British citizens.

    Afghanistan has been scrambling to train guards for its own government security service—called the Afghan Public Protection Force, or APPF—since Karzai late last year ordered all 103 private security companies closed by March 2012.

    Karzai has said the private security firms undermine the Afghan police and army forces, creating effective militias that often flout Afghan laws and regulations.

    So far, 57 of the private companies have been disbanded, Sediqi said Thursday. Another 46, half of them Afghan firms and half international, are still operating but officials have vowed to close them by March, according to the Interior Ministry.

    The new Afghan force will need to train 25,000 guards to take over all the work performed by privately contracted guards, according to a U.S. government report released in October.

    Recruitment has been slow. As of late last year, the APPF had only about 6,500 guards trained, the U.S. report said.


  3. Published on January 07, 2012


    The latest death of a Georgian soldier in Afghanistan tolls up the number of Georgian troops casualties to 12 since the beginning of the year 2012, reported. According to officials in the ministry of defense of Georgia, one of its soldiers was injured following militants attack and died of his wounds. The statement issued by Georgian defense ministry did not disclose further information regarding the exact date and location of the incident. Georgia has deployed around 900 troops under the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan. In the meantime Georgian parliament earlier last month approved a bill that allows further deployment of Georgian troops to serve under the ISAF mission in Afghanistan.


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