270 noted poets including Nobel, Pulitzer, continental and national literary prize winners as well as presidents of international poetry festivals, presidents of PEN clubs, and writers associations from 88 countries have signed an open letter to world leaders, declaring their solidarity with the Hazara people. For more than a century, the Hazara people of Afghanistan and Pakistan have been victims of systematic crimes such as genocide, slavery, sexual abuse, war crimes and discrimination.
The letter is addressed to The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, and President of the United States, Barack Obama, asking them to take steps to insure the security and safety of the Hazara people.
Hazara poet, Kamran Mir Hazar, who crafted the letter notes, “Article two of the Convention on Genocide describes the dire situation of the Hazaras, and the world must no longer ignore the ongoing ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Hazaras.”
In Afghanistan, even with thousands of international troops deployed, Hazaras are regularly attacked by Afghan Kuchis, backed by the Taliban and the Afghan government. Hazara roads are blocked by Taliban gunmen. Hazara cars are halted and its passengers murdered. In central Afghanistan, a huge population of Hazaras is marginalized, and is denied basic legal rights.
As a result, millions of Hazaras have fled Afghanistan, creating terrible and unnecessary refugee situations in countries like Turkey, Greece, Australia, and Indonesia. In Pakistan as recently as Thursday, January 11, 2013, more than one-hundred Hazaras were killed in an organized terrorist attack in Quetta, Pakistan.
Poets world-wide asks world leaders to declare of a state of emergency regarding the Hazara situation in Afghanistan; to pressure Afghan and Pakistani governments to stop discrimination and stop supporting terrorists groups; to grant asylum to Hazara asylum seekers; establish an international Truth Commission to investigate systematic crimes against Hazaras; to open cases concerning genocide and human rights violations in international courts such as the ICC; to protect Hazaras in Afghanistan with international troops. We appeal to international media to investigate and report on activities against Hazaras, in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The Open Letter from Poets World-wide with signers is available in English, Spanish, Italian, French, Hazaragi/Dari, and Azeri languages on: