“Afghan civil society is under siege”: Zadran, activist

The journey out of Afghanistan was not easy for Zadran, who served as a program manager at the Afghanistan Civil Society Forum organization (ACSFo). At every moment, he feared that he would be captured by the Taliban. However, staying in Kabul was not an option.

Zadran has been an active member of Afghan civil society since 2009. At the ACSFo, he worked to establish 65 youth advocacy committees across Afghanistan. The committees worked with like-minded organizations and religious scholars to promote women and girls’ access to education, healthcare, and work opportunities.

He also led the implementation of the Global Affairs Canada-funded Amplify Change project, which aimed to empower women and girls to participate in decision-making processes within Afghan society.

All of this work came to a stop when the Taliban took over.

Zadran says, “Afghan civil society is now under siege. Arbitrary arrests, detentions, and torture have become common. The work of human rights defenders is almost impossible under Taliban rule.

“They came to my office in November to ask about my whereabouts. I knew that I will be tortured if the Taliban find me. The decision to leave your country is not always easy because you leave behind an ocean of memories, love, and attachment.”

After moving from house to house for a while, Zadran was able to safely leave Kabul. “I would like to thank JHR and Daniel Pearl Foundation for supporting my evacuation. Their support, from my evacuation to date, has been vital. The whole team is supportive and kind.”

Zadran hopes to continue working with a human rights organization to advocate for the rights of Afghans and all marginalized communities around the world.

Zadran’s evacuation from Afghanistan was generously funded by the Daniel Pearl Foundation.

JHR continues to fundraise for our ongoing evacuation effort in Afghanistan. Please visit bit.ly/JHRAfghanEvacFund to donate today.

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