On Tuesday, 5 July the Hellenic Parliament welcomed former members of the Afghan Parliament and members of the judiciary who found themselves in Greece and Europe as refugees and asylum seekers, one year after the withdrawal of Western forces and the violent seizure of power by the Taliban.
The Greek Forum of Refugees together with the Afghan community of Migrants and Refugees in Greece, took the initiative to include the issue of Afghanistan in the work of the Standing Committee on Public Administration, Public Order and Justice and the Committee on Equality, Youth and Human Rights, on the occasion of the upcoming events, but, also, in the context of the overall effort being made to bring the devastating problems plaguing Afghanistan back to international attention.
Ms. Yusufi Nazifa, a former member of the Afghan parliament and an asylum seeker, took the floor first and highlighted the gloomy situation that prevails in her homeland especially, after the consolidation of the Taliban in power. Ms Yusufi spoke about the violation of human rights by the Taliban, describing the daily social conditions in the country, stressing that women are constantly in great danger. At the same time, she referred to the ongoing suffering in Afghanistan, also referring to the earthquake that caused the death of over 1000 people.
Following Ms Yusufi’s speech, the former member of the judiciary in Afghanistan, Ms. Haidari Hasina, took the stage and spoke about the issues of law that are violated daily and continuously with the Taliban in power, while appealing to Greece and the Western world not to abandon the support of her country.
Ms. Huma Ahmadi, a former member of the Afghan parliament, spoke last about the struggle of Afghan refugees to build their lives away from Afghanistan, from which they left against their will in search of hope for a better life.
The debate, held in the Senate chamber of the Hellenic Parliament, was opened and closed by the President of the Standing Committee on Public Administration, Public Order and Justice of the parliament, Mr. Maximos Harakopoulos. The President of the Special Standing Committee for Equality, Youth and Human Rights, Ms. Anna Karamanlis, addressed the greeting. The government was represented by the Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, responsible for Demographic Policy and Family matters, Ms. Maria Syregela and the Deputy Minister of Migration and Asylum, responsible for integration, Ms. Sofia Voultepsi. From the Official Opposition, the First Vice-President of the Special Standing Committee on Equality, Youth and Human Rights, Ms. Irini Agathopoulos, took the floor, while the MPs Mr. Psychogios and Ms. Poulos were also present. The Member of Parliament, Ms. Liana Kanelli made a statement, with representatives of Elliniki Lysi and DIEM25 completing the statements of the representatives of the parliamentary groups.
The former members of the Afghan parliament and the judiciary were accompanied by the President of the Board of Directors of the Greek Forum of Refugees, Mr Jean – Didier Totow Tom – Ata, the Vice – President of the Board of Directors and President of the community of Afghan Migrants and Refugees in Greece, Mr. Mokhtar Rezai and the Vice President Mrs. Raihana Ganji, the Director of the Greek Forum of Refugees, Mr. Yonous Muhammadi and the Communication Officer, Mr. Christos Lazaridis.