Afghanistan: Theatre exposes rights abuse
AKI – Adnkronos International
Kabul, 23 April (AKI) – A theatre production highlighting human rights abuses spanning nearly three decades of conflict has opened in Afghanistan.
The production, named after an anonymous Afghan prisoner known as AH-5787 is designed to provides an opportunity for victims to have their voices heard.
The show, sponsored by the United Nations, illustrates how many Afghans continue to carry the pain of the country’s strife-filled past and how victims struggle to find a way to deal with incidents of violence.
“The people of Afghanistan are crying out for justice,” said Norah Niland, head of the human rights unit at the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.
“Justice deals not only with prosecutions, but also with the need for a deep understanding of what happened in the past.”
In a monologue with the audience, the main character, Sardar, explores many of the questions that victims have to face, including those related to justice, revenge and peace.
“There is a great history of story-telling and oral history in Afghanistan and through this play we hope to tap into that tradition,” said Niland.
Thousands of Afghan men, women and children were subjected to human rights abuses over several decades, including the right to life and safety, freedom of movement, and access to education and health.
Many of those responsible for these crimes have yet to be brought to justice, Niland said.
In 2005, the Afghan government adopted an action plan to try to address the abuses of the past, achieve peace with justice and promote national reconciliation, but it has suffered from a lack of implementation.
The show, performed in Dari and Pashto, is produced with support from the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and the German Development Service.
It will begin touring Afghan provinces soon.