Women for Afghan Women, Young Afghan World Alliance and other Afghan-American
organizations and Peace groups
WHAT: Picket outside
White House to Protest the Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan at the hands of
the US military.
The message will be to President
Bush and Congress:
No More Innocent Victims
Send Aid NOT Bombs to Afghanistan
Support the Creation of an Afghan Victims Fund
Conduct a US Government Detailed Study of Civilian Casualties
WHEN: NOON to 1 PM
- Friday, July 5, 2002
WHERE: White House-
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, DC
WASHINGTON - July 4 - For the first
time since the US began bombing Afghanistan last October, Afghan-American organizations
have called for a protest against the killing of innocent civilians by the US
military. Women for Afghan Women and Young Afghan World Alliance join by other
peace groups will be picketing outside the White House at noon on Friday, July
This past Monday, July 1, U.S. air
attack killed and injured scores of civilians as they were attending a wedding
celebration. Yesterday a Pentagon official dismissed the importance of keeping
track of numbers of Afghan casualties.
Today in Kabul, 200 protesters about
half of them women in burqas, blocked midmorning traffic. Compensation was one
of the demands. "We cannot tolerate more innocent victims in our country
and American bombardment of civilian targets," said Theyba one of the protest
organizers in Afghanistan.
The Washington, DC protest organizer,
Masuda Sultan, Vice President of Women for Afghan Women is a young Afghan-American
woman who is "angry that civilian casualties continue to happen, even accidentally,"
at the hands of the US military. She lost 19 extended family members when a farm
near Kandahar was hit (possibly by the same AC-130 gunships that hit Monday's
Afghan wedding party) during a US strike last October.
Masuda was initially cautiously supportive
U.S. intervention but is now disappointed that she has yet to hear an explanation
or an apology directly from the Pentagon regarding her family's deaths.
Earlier this year Masuda Sultan met
September 11 victim's families who visited Afghanistan as members of Peaceful
Tomorrows. Upon their return Masuda joined them to lobby congress to provide compensation
funds for civilian Afghan victims of US military actions.
The US military has been bombing
Afghanistan since October of last year. Yet there is no official acknowledgment
that innocent Afghan civilians have been killed or maimed in this "precision
bombing" campaign. While the number of civilian casualties is unclear, estimates
range from 1,000 to 4,000 people.
The victims of the 9-11 tragedy have
rightfully received a tremendous outpouring of compassion from the world community
and help from the US government and humanitarian agencies to ease their burdens.
Said Sultan "But what about the innocent victims in Afghanistan who lost
their lives during the US air strikes?"
* Women for Afghan Women http://www.womenforafghanwomen.org/
* Young Afghan World Alliance http://www.ya-wa.org/
* Peaceful Tomorrows http://www.peacefultomorrows.org/
* Global Exchange http://www.globalexchange.org/
Women for Afghan Women
P.O. Box 152
New York, NY 10018