VCNV UK delegation write from Kabul on international Human Rights Day
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Beth Tichborne at Human Rights Photo exhibition
Remembering Afghan Martyrs
by Beth Tichborne

Darul Aman is a palace in Kabul, which was grand in the 1920′s, but is now falling down after two fires and shelling. Large areas of the roof have collapsed, walls have caved in. There are wide stone stairs, that spiral up the wall and which must have looked gravity-defying even when they were new, and which are now crumbling at the edges. Puddles and piles of rubble and plastic rubbish fill the rooms.

To mark the International day of Human Rights, the 
Social Association of Afghan Justice Seekers held a photography exhibition in the palace. Nailed to the crumbling walls were portrait photographs, on laminated A4 paper, of some of those who have died or disappeared in Afghanistan, from the Soviet era until today. Maya, Janey and I visited the exhibition, along with our friend from the Afghan Peace Volunteers, Raz Mohammed.

The ground floor was the gallery of the victims of the Soviet occupation, with grainy black and white photos of grandfathers and fathers, some in old fashioned clothes, and some in rock star sunglasses and hats.  Above the faces were the photocopied ‘death lists’ that identified these men as targets.

Read more:
Young Afghan woman telling her story
Brave Afghan Mum
by Janey Moffatt

This is Nouria, aged 15, who is one brave, brave little Mum.  She fell 
pregnant around the age of 12 after her father raped her repeatedly.  
Her baby was stillborn.  Her mother helped her to swaddle the little 
baby and bury it in the yard.  Don’t be too shocked to read on.

Nouria is a strong, beautiful, bright young girl who managed to get 
herself to a women’s refuge run by WAW (Women for Afghan Women) and they 
are helping her to get an education and English lessons.  She is hopeful 
for the future and wants to be able to work.

But Nouria is very lonely and doesn’t get to talk about what happened to 
her very much.  Her family have disowned her because she has brought 
shame on them by getting pregnant and she is missing her Mum terribly.  
I put my arms around her and she sobbed - this simple act of human touch 
was enough to make her feel much better she later told us.

If you are touched by Nouria’s story I will be doing work for her when I 
get back including creating a friendship parcel to send to her.  Anyone 
who wants to contribute to the parcel can - it doesn’t have to be 
anything of monetary value - a card with the word LOVE on it would mean 
a lot to her and let her know that we are all thinking of her, wishing 
her onwards and with her in spirit.

Read more:

See daily posts and photos from the Afghan delegation on Facebook: Voices for Creative Non Violence UK

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