Bring Afghan Sikhs and Hindus to Canada as refugees- Humanitarian Grounds
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There is a growing humanitarian crisis affecting approximately 2,000 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus. As you may know, on July 1, 2018 a suicide bomb attack on a Sikh and Hindu delegation in Jalalabad, Afghanistan killed 19 people. The delegation of Sikhs and Hindus was going to meet President Ashraf Ghani. Those killed were the prominent leaders of the Afghan Sikh and Hindu community and this attack has left the community in a state of panic and terror.
Sikh and Hindu Afghans currently an unlivable situation in many parts of Afghanistan. The Sikh and Hindu communities that have lived in Afghanistan for hundreds of years now number approximately 1,000-2,000. Prior to 1992, their population numbered over 200,000, however due to persecution and discrimination, most have been forced to flee to other countries.
Religious persecution in the form of the jizya (religious tax on non-Muslims), harassment and even the ongoing threat of abduction have made living conditions in Afghanistan unbearable for many in the Sikh and Hindu communities. Those remaining are often unable to move due to lack of financial resources and as conditions worsen, travel for Afghan Sikhs, who are very visible due to their articles of faith, has become increasingly difficult. The government has been ineffective in protecting minorities from harassment. Sikh and Hindu Afghans, particularly women, are afraid to leave their homes alone due to the threat of verbal and physical abuse in public places.
The Government of Afghanistan has also been ineffectual in protecting these minority communities. Because of the decreasing number of the Sikh and Hindu Afghans, they cannot demand the same protections that others enjoy and they are too few to matter politically.
This petition is to ask that the Government of Canada intervene to save the lives Afghanistan’s Sikhs and Hindus. Afghan Sikhs and Hindus are a vulnerable minority under siege that is unable to exercise basic human rights and faces overwhelming persecution and threat. Canada has a humanitarian obligation to come to their assistance and as necessary to aid in their evacuation and resettlement. We request that Canada move quickly to help save these vulnerable minority communities.
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