UN asked to break silence on Zabul hostages
KABUL (Pajhwok): Civil society activists on Monday renewed their call for safe and unconditional release of the 31 passengers in southern Zabul province, urging the government, the UN and human rights groups to break their silence on the hostages.
The men were kidnapped on Feb 23 from passenger buses on the road between Kabul and western Herat province in the Shahjoy district of Zabul.
Family members of the passengers and civil society activists have staged sit-in protests in Zarnigar Park and in front of parliament, asking the government to ensure the release of the passengers.
Liaqat Fazeli, a civil society activist, told a press conference here that the government was yet to take serious action to secure the release of the hostages.
“Had the government been serious in its efforts, the hostages would have been released now,” he said, adding the government and the UN should not keep mum over the matter.
Parima Sherzad, another activist, said the president was to be blamed primarily for the failure to rescue the hostages. “These 31 people do not just belong to the Hazara tribe, they belong to all the Afghan people.”
She urged the government to take honest steps for releasing the passengers so that they could reunite with their families.
The activists issued a statement calling the hostage-taking a clear violation of human rights and demanded stern measures for their release.
“The false peace process that is aimed at legitimising terrorism and brutality should be ceased,” read the statement.
Two family members of the abducted men have reportedly died of heart attack and mothers of another two hostages are said to be in critical health condition.
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