25 January 2023, London. A group of Members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and experts, the Hazara Inquiry, have now conducted their inquiry into the situation of the Hazara in Afghanistan and Pakistan. On 25 January 2023, the Hazara Inquiry published its report on the situation of the Hazara in Pakistan. This follows the report on the situation of the Hazara in Afghanistan, published in September 2022. In relation to Afghanistan, the inquiry found that Hazara in Afghanistan are at serious risk of genocide at the hands of the Taliban and Islamic State–Khorasan Province (IS-K). This finding engages the responsibility of all states to protect the Hazara and prevent a possible genocide, under the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the Genocide Convention) and customary international law. In Pakistan, the inquiry also found that the Hazara are subjected to discrimination, persecution and social exclusion that have a profound effect on the community and its future. Some of the risk factors of atrocity crimes are clearly present, while further evidence is needed to provide a comprehensive analysis of the situation. Despite the limited evidence available, it is clear that the community requires assistance.
During the parliamentary session on 25 January 2023, the Hazara Inquiry and the APPG on the Hazara launched their ‘ joint recommendations to address the situation of the Hazara in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as below.
Assessing and monitoring the situation of the Hazara
Monitor the situation of the Hazara, collect and preserve the evidence of the atrocities incl. focus specifically on the issue of sexual violence against the Hazara in Afghanistan.
Assess the situation of the Hazara (incl. in line with the UN Framework for Analysis of Atrocity Crimes) and determine the serious risk of genocide and other atrocity crimes.
Recognise the specific targeting of the Hazara in Afghanistan, because of their religious belief and their ethnicity, and their vulnerability as a result (including for the purposes of asylum resettlement to the UK under ACRS).
Responding to the atrocities
Identify a comprehensive response plan, including in accordance with the UK’s duties under the Genocide Convention.
Assess whether and how the Hazara communities have access to humanitarian aid provided by the UK and ensure that this assistance reaches them and engage in a dialogue with Afghan-neighbouring countries to ensure that the Hazara fleeing persecution in Afghanistan are provided with assistance and are not returned to Afghanistan.
Introduce new UK Aid initiatives that will benefit the Hazara community in Afghanistan and in Pakistan, responding to the current gaps in assistance available to the communities.
Justice and Accountability
Call upon the Taliban-run ‘caretaker government’ to ensure that all atrocities against the community are investigated and the perpetrators are brought to justice.
Work with international actors, including the International Criminal Court to ensure that they have access to all evidence of the atrocities. against the Hazara collected by the UK.
Impose Magnitsky sanctions against all those responsible for the atrocities against the Hazara and those enabling them.
Bring proceedings against Afghanistan before the International Court of Justice for its breaches of the Genocide Convention.
Commenting on the report, Paul Bristow MP for Peterborough and Chair of the Hazara All Party Parliamentary Group said:
“The findings of The Hazara Inquiry are compelling and call for us to reinforce our responsibility for holding perpetrators of the atrocities seen against the Hazara community to account, and to ensure an open and transparent process to explore and examine these findings and ensure they are implemented in accordance with our duties under the Genocide Convention.”
Note to editor:
This event was organised in conjunction with the public launch of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Hazaras, chaired by Paul Bristow, MP for Peterborough. The Hazara APPG is a cross-party group of parliamentarians that provides a forum to discuss the situation of Hazaras and to improve HMG’s policies towards Afghanistan, Pakistan, and refugees. The aim and mission of the APPG Hazaras is:
● To address all issues concerning Hazaras – their security, humanitarian situation to improve the UK government's policies toward Afghanistan, Pakistan, and refugees;
●To raise the issue of the genocide against the Hazaras and ensure comprehensive responses, including justice for the victims and survivors, assistance with their needs, and ensure non-repetition of the atrocities in the future;
● Providing parliamentarians with the information to act together to prevent genocides and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan
For media enquiry please contact Paul Bristow’s office on firstname.lastname@example.org
or the APPG Secretariat on email@example.com