Saturday, October 10, 2009

Afghan Asylum Seekers Claim Persecution by Taliban as Basis

Afghans seek refuge in Tajikistan
By Rayhan Demytrie
BBC News, Vahdat

"Sitting on the floor in her one-bedroom flat in the Tajik city of Vahdat, Afghan refugee Farzona Sakhi is sifting through dozens of certificates obtained on completion of Western NGO-run courses in Afghanistan.
Her latest job was with Save the Children in Kabul. But she was forced to leave the country after being threatened by the Taliban.

'I taught underage girls their rights, I explained [to] them what is forced marriage or early marriage. Child abuse is a huge problem in Afghanistan. I worked with them for four years but then I received a warning letter,' says Ms Sakhi, holding back tears.

'They said my teaching is against Islam, and that I am teaching Christian values. I had to leave Kabul.'
According to the UN refugee agency, cases like hers mark one of the new trends among Afghan asylum seekers in Tajikistan - educated English-speakers who claim they are escaping persecution from the Taliban for their association with Western NGOs."

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