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Why Hazaras are in danger in Afghanistan: Expert opinion

This post has been updated with a revised opinion as at 4 March 2020. It is updated regularly to remain as current as possible.

In June 2019, a major cross-national study ranked some 163 states and territories according to their level of peacefulness. It concluded that ‘Afghanistan is now the least peaceful country in the world, replacing Syria, which is now the second least peaceful’.

In the opinion of a leading expert on Afghanistan, Professor William Maley of the Australian National University, the situation in Afghanistan remains extraordinarily fluid. “Given this fluidity, it is a serious mistake to conclude that Afghanistan is safe for Hazaras.”

On 27 June 2019, the Department of Foreign Affairs, in a further Thematic Report that replaced its September 2017 report, stated that ‘DFAT assesses that Shi’a face a high risk of being targeted by ISKP and other militant groups for attack based on their religious affiliation when assembling in large and identifiable groups, such as during demonstrations or when attending mosques during major religious festivals. This risk increases for those living in Shi’a majority or ethnic Hazara neighbourhoods in major cities such as Kabul and Herat’

This expert analysis by Professor Maley demonstrates why Afghanistan remains unsafe for Hazaras.

Professor William Maley is a Professor of Diplomacy at the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy at The Australian National University. He has published extensively on Afghan politics for over three decades. Professor Maley is also a Board Member of the Refugee Council of Australia.

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