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Missing teachers: Afghan-Turk students’ parents hold protest

Missing teachers: Afghan-Turk students’ parents hold protest

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Dec 13, 2017 - 20:26

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Dozens of parents of students at the Afghan-Turk school on Wednesday held a protest gathering in Kabul, warning the government of further rallies if the arrested teachers of the school weren’t released.

National Directorate of Security (NDS), Afghanistaninfo-icon’s intelligence agency, picked up four Afghan-Turk school teachers, including one Afghan and three Turkish, in Shah-i-Doshamshira area of Kabul city on Tuesday and since then there has been no clue to their whereabouts.

Three teachers were arrested from two cars and when security forces moved to a dormitory looking for another teacher at the Afghan-Turk School in Taimani area, four girl students, scared by the abrupt invasion, fell unconscious and were rushed to hospital.

Samia Haidari, a 9th grade student at the Afghan Turk Girl High School, told Pajhwok Afghan News: “On Tuesday evening, about 25 security men entered our school, searching our teachers’ rooms and principal office. We were shivering due to fear, some of us were crying and several others fell ill until the security members left after half an hour.” “We want the government officials not to disrupt our educationinfo-icon process by such acts.”

Kamal Nasari Osoli, head of the cultural and religious committee at Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon and a father of one of Afghan-Turk students, said: “The yesterday’s action by NDSinfo-icon is intolerable and the arrested teachers should be set free at the earliest possible.” 

Mohammad Ibrahim Shinwari, acting minister of education, who also attended the protest gathering, said this act by the security personnel was illegitimate.

“Any kind of decision with regard to the Afghan Turk School should be taken publicly and in presence of the school students’ parents and in compliance with the law.”

He said the teachers’ detention would be seriously pursued and their fates would be specified soon.

Fazal Ahmad Manawi, a member of the Afghan Turk students’ guardians committee, said not speaking out against oppression was worst than cruelty itself. “In no system has such brutality happened the one occurred with Afghan Turk school teachers and students yesterday.”

 “About 95 percent of government officials’ children aren’t in Afghanistan and we earn money despite bombings and insecurity to educate our children; but unfortunately their lives are also threatened this way.”

He slammed the security personnel move of arresting the teachers, saying: “This kidnapping is committed by the government; but we will make ourselves as human shields for protecting Afghan-Turk schools, which educate our children, and will allow no one to destroy them.”

There has been so far no word from the NDS in this regard.

A resolution letter issued by the students’ parents was read out at the end of the gathering. “The government is warned not to politicize these schools and release teachers of the school; otherwise huge protests would be held.”

Earlier, a number of officials had alleged that the move against Afghan Turk CAG Educational NGO (ATCE), the organization that runs the schools, appeared to be part of a witch-hunt being waged on followers of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a coup attempt in July 2016.

The ATCE, which says it is an independent organization, runs schools in several cities including the capital, Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif, Kandahar and Herat and has been in Afghanistan since 1995.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education said it was satisfied with functioning of these schools but decision on their fate rested with President Ashraf Ghani.

The teachers were arrested the day Ghani left for Turkey for attending an extraordinary meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Jerusalem.

sns/ma

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