Following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in September, more than 2,800 Hazara Shiites were forcibly evicted from their homes. As an ethnic and religious minority, targeted violence from the Taliban and the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) is not new but is worsening under the Taliban’s rule. The rapid increase in human rights violations against the backdrop of a century-long pattern of systemic oppression has increased the risk of the Hazaras facing imminent ethnic cleansing.
Although the Taliban’s spokesman in Qatar said that the Taliban now has “a policy of not having any kind of discrimination against the Shia people,” the Hazaras have been continually attacked at schools, weddings, and mosques for their support of the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan as well as their involvement with Iran to fight against Sunni Muslim forces in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.
The Iranian-backed Fatemiyoun Brigade recruits Hazara and Shia Afghan refugees, offering them payment, citizenship, and other legal protections in return for serving in the brigade. As persecution and targeting of the Hazaras continues, relations between Tehran and the Taliban regime will sour. In response, the brigade may look to recruit more Hazaras, who may be more willing to fight due to intense political and social isolation.
Read the full article from Global Security Review.
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