Hazara groups will rally in cities across Australia tomorrow in response to the horrific killing of over 80 Hazara in Pakistan on Saturday (see below for rally details).
“This appalling attack shows how real the persecution of Hazaras in Afghanistan and Pakistan is”, said Refugee Action Coalition spokesperson Nick Riemer.
The bomb attack in Quetta was carried out by a sectarian Islamic group. Hazaras in both Pakistan and Afghanistan face persecution and violence due to their adherence to Shia Islam by a range of Sunni extremist groups.
This follows another bomb attack in Quetta in January that killed 92 Hazaras, another attack at a mosque in February that killed 24 and a number of smaller attacks in recent months.
The Hazara community in Pakistan says local police and the military have done little to combat the Sunni extremist groups carrying out the attacks. There is a long history of Pakistani military intelligence, the ISI, protecting extremist groups.
“Hazaras are clearly in need of protection and refugee status”, said Nick. “Yet the Australian government has been exposed as trying to stop Hazara refugees leaving Pakistan through disruption operations involving the Australian Federal Police. These so-called ‘anti-people smuggling’ measures are in reality about stopping refugees and condemn Hazara refugees to danger and death.”
“We urge the Australian government to welcome Hazara refugees and grant them refugee protection. We are also calling for the release of Hazara asylum seekers who remain languishing in detention centres.”
For more information contact Nick Riemer 0435 533 027
Sydney rally 11am Martin Place (near corner Castlereagh St, outside Pakistan embassy)
Brisbane rally 11am Brisbane Square, Queen St
Melbourne rally 11am Treasury gardens (corner Spring St and Wellington Pde)
Perth rally call Syed Arif 0400 026 443 for details
Category: Press releases