RAWA A HUMAN RIGHTS PRIZE
April 15,2000 - Islamabad
During a ceremony at the residence of Mr. Jean Berthault,
incharge of Afghanistan affairs at French Embassy, and in presence of French Ambassador in
Pakistan and First Secretary of the Embassy and some journalists and RAWA activists,
"The French Republic's Liberty, Equality, Fraternity Human Rights Prize" endowed
by the Prime Minister of the French Government through National Advisory Commission on
Human Rights was granted to RAWA for its activities for human rights in Afghanistan.
It is almost the first time that a country in the West paid attention to a
democratic organization in Afghanistan. On behalf of RAWA, Mother Zemaray, a bereaved
woman whose eight sons have been kidnapped and killed at the hands of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
received the prize. While taking the prize, with tears in her eyes, she said "
expressing my heartfelt thanks to the French government and nation, I hope that France
prosecute Gulbuddin and other Jehadic and the Taliban leaders as the murderers of our
people". "Though RAWA is given the prize, but till the murderers of my sons and
the butchers of my nation have not been brought to justice I will not be satisfied. All
those who lost their lives by inhuman fundamentalists are my sons" she continued.
Awarding the prize, Mr. Jean Berthault said:" This is very important
because the medal that is going to be given to you is coming from the Committee for the
Human Rights that is composed of very important people. RAWA got a special mention with
medal in order to illustrate the importance of its action. The work of RAWA is extremely
important because nowadays in Afghanistan we are in a situation where the women are
deprived of any access to education, health and so on. In the last twenty-two years we
have been witnessing a terrible war in Afghanistan and the result of this war has been
that the field of education particularly has been entirely destroyed. Every body
knows and acknowledges the importance of women in order to promote the future generation,
and this is the main reason why RAWA has been given this award. Today is also an occasion
for my government that I represent in Afghanistan, to illustrate the importance that we
attach to your country, to your dear country, also to peace in Afghanistan for which we
are really trying and doing our best. I promise you." He concluded " In the
territories of the Taliban as well as that of other forces the situation is not good.
" Afterwards, Sohaila, an activist of RAWA on behalf of her organization
pointed out " it is a fine opportunity for RAWA to share the cry of thousands of
mournful and bleeding Afghan women with the world. Women who are being crushed by
the most savage regime of our day, a regime which is striking our desperate women mentally
and physically with such blows without example either during the Russian invasion or at
any time in the past. Human rights and women's rights in particular have been violated at
different levels by different regimes. However, in today's ill-fated Afghanistan there is
not a single trace of human rights and women's rights but a distant memory in the past
The shameless brothers of the Taliban and Jehadis in Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iran
and Algeria have even trembled a bit because of what the Afghan
fundamentalists have done and are doing to women. Where has it been seen that while
shouting Allah-o-Akbar they rape 70-year-old mothers and fathers and 7-year-old girls?
Where has it been seen that after raping pregnant women, the armed-Islamic warlords wait
before the traumatized woman for the delivery of "their" babies? Who has seen
that hundreds of young girls are committing suicide as their only hope of safety from
abduction and raping by fundamentalists? And...
There is no time to point out each and every atrocity of the Taliban and
Jehadic warlords; but it is enough that the world knows that 99% of our women are
bereaved. Our hearts are stained with the remorse of humiliation and insults against us;
lashing us publicly, bleeding us white, and snatching us away from our lands and men and
dragging us into beggary and prostitution."
"The UN-imposed economic sanctions on Afghanistan are yet another
crushing burden on the shoulders of our misery-stricken nation and the only group or
individuals the sanctions will not have the slightest negative impact on will be the
Taliban, who are so affluent in dollars and rupees gained from narcotic smuggling that
they will never be humbled by any such misguided efforts. The picture gets darker when we
see their rival brothers, the Jehadis, are exempted from the sanctions. The criminal acts
of the latter have even in some ways whitewashed the face of the Taliban. Do the UN and
the West want to replace the Taliban and impose the Jehadics on our people? If the UN or
the West is really interested in solving the problems of Afghanistan, they must first and
foremost impose strict sanctions on the countries that continue to support the Taliban and
their Jehadic rivals with arms and money " she concluded.
It is clear cut that time and again the international prizes, under the name
of human rights and democracy, have been given to the known agents of KHAD and to women
who know nothing about the sorrows and aspirations of the Afghan women; they are just
trying to reconcile with the Jehadic and the Taliban thugs.
Though RAWA has been granted the prize, but the miseries and sufferings of the
Afghan people and women are as much deep and wide-ranged that such prizes could never
alleviate them. Our sufferings inter alia, get harsh when we are witnessing that the world
media don't give considerable coverage to the horrible plight of Afghan women.
The medieval-minded and women-bashing fundamentalists regard the human rights
and democratic values nothing but the products of the West and contrary to the tradition
and culture of Afghanistan. We strongly demand France to deal with the Afghan
fundamentalists without giving any of them her recognition or any assistance and put
pressure on the UN to impose sanctions not only on the Taliban, but on the Jehadic
traitors as well. By doing that, it means France grants the greatest "prize" not
only to RAWA but to the people of Afghanistan as a whole.
Does the dedication of this prize to RAWA, which has been struggling for
almost 20 years for democracy and human rights, indicate that France will be the first
country, which will raise its voice for democracy and human rights in Afghanistan? We hope
it will be so. This is the desire of each and every misfortunate Afghan.
English translation of a letter from Mr. Laurent Fabius to RAWA
022953 PARIS, LE 29 Nov. 1999
The National Advisory Commission on Human Rights has decided to nominate your
organization among its laureates for the year 1999.
This distinction is to reward your concrete, necessary and courageous action
In letter, I want to congratulate you warmly.
More than 200 years after their recognition by the National Assembly and 50 years
after their worldwide exclamation, Human Rights - or, later, the respect of Human Rights
remain the indispensable yardstick of all human progress. The fight goes on as the task is
far from complete.
This is why I hope that, in future, we shall be able to go further with this
I wish to encourage you to get in touch with my adviser Cyril Benoit whom I
have asked to deal with this matter. If you so desire he will be in a position to listen
to you and help you in your initiative.
Again all my congratulations.
Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA)
Mailing Address: RAWA,
Home Page: http://www.rawa.org