Members of Hazara community in Halifax call for Canada to save Afghan women, children

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People carry a banner reading 'Justice for Afghanistan' as they march through the Peace and Friendship Park in Halifax on Aug. 25, 2021.  (Dave Laughlin/CBC - image credit)
People carry a banner reading 'Justice for Afghanistan' as they march through the Peace and Friendship Park in Halifax on Aug. 25, 2021. (Dave Laughlin/CBC - image credit)

Around 100 people gathered with signs and flags at a Halifax park Wednesday before walking to Province House and city hall to speak out against the Taliban and show support for their loved ones in Afghanistan.

Members of the crowd shouted "Save Afghan women! Save Afghan children!" as they walked along Barrington Street.

The majority of those who gathered belong to the Hazara community, a religious and ethnic minority in Afghanistan who have been historically targeted by the Taliban.

After the killing of nine Hazara men that was reported by Amnesty International on Aug. 19, many in the community are fearful past atrocities against them could happen again.

Those who marched Wednesday hope their efforts to raise awareness will help bring more refugees to Canada from Afghanistan.

Many in the group said they understand the federal government can only do so much. One man said if they could be reunited with their loved ones, the Afghan community in Halifax would step up to provide housing and food.

The Hazara people are not currently listed as a vulnerable minority eligible for refugee status in Canada.

Dave Laughlin/CBC
Dave Laughlin/CBC

Raziya and her daughter, Jessica, are part of Halifax's Hazara community and attended the march.

CBC News has agreed to only publish their first names to ensure the safety of their loved ones who are in Afghanistan, including Raziya's sister and her sister's children.

Raziya said her sister's family has been hiding since the Taliban came to their home.

Her sister, who is unmarried, has said they have been terrified every day and are keeping their doors locked out of fear the Taliban will force her or her daughters into marriage.

Dave Laughlin/CBC
Dave Laughlin/CBC

She, too, hopes Canada will accept more refugees from Afghanistan, noting people are out of food because they are hiding and cannot get necessities.

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