18 Jun 2017
Writer: Mohammad Reza Gulkohi.

The refuge, but peaceful and legal

The latest anti-government protest that resulted in killing of six people as well as wide and continuous refuge, in fact caused results that needed answer to a question "what are the limits of peaceful protest?"

The question occupied public minds when anti-protest police fired bullets on protesters and the tents created disruption and economic losses. The aim of the recent protests was to raise voices over recent bloody attacks in Kabul which killed at least 150 people and injured over 300. The protesters demanded National Unity Government (NGU) leaders to step down and moreover wanted senior security officials including National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar to step down as well. The only positive approach the government took toward protesters' demand was to send the dossier of bullet firing on protesters to Attorney General Office and thus resulted in suspension of Kabul garrison commander and chief of Kabul police.

Considering all these, the question that became more embossed in public mind was what the limits of protest are and when the police have the right to fire?

The peaceful and civil condition

Experts and Afghans believe that any peaceful demonstration should not lose its civic side and approach. Not damaging public/government properties, attacking public places, breaking government prestige, and not damaging public interests are all the conditions which must be taken into consideration while conducting protests. Mahdi Zahedi an expert of law believes, "The scope and border of freedom that the freedom of others should not be damaged."

Meanwhile Kabul residents repeatedly complained of tents set by demonstrators in public streets, creating traffic jams and transport disruption. Financial losses resulted from the continued refuge also sparked wide-spread criticism among public. Khan Jan Alokozay, deputy chairman at Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI), said that private sector suffered some two million USD per day during the refuge.

Role of legislative power and political games of parties

Following the protests, political and national institutions wanted to play a mediator role in bringing the solace to the city once again some for national interests while others for political purposes.
On 10th June a parliamentarian delegation met president Ghani and Ghani told the government was obliged to take into consideration the legal demands of people. Some people and experts complained from dual role of political parties. Tareq Azimi , a political activist ,believe that the political parties played dual role in the game expecting which part would get victory so they would join with.

The end of work
The refuge tents have been removed now and it was for the Afghan parliament that sent a draft scheme to ARG for prosecution of those who filled bullets on protesters. Meanwhile the protesters still insist on their demand, resignation of NGU leaders and dismissal of senior security officials.



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