Institute for War and Peace,
May 11, 2012.
There has been some progress in coming to terms with the past. Ordinary people have become bolder and have begun to speak out about those accused of committing human rights violations, particularly those that occurred in the early 1990s after the collapse of the communist regime. Previously, if anyone said anything about the leaders of that period [post-1992 civil conflict], they would quickly have been accused of being “un-Islamic”.
There was a marked change this year on Mujahedin Victory Day, the anniversary of the mujahedin takeover on April 28, 1992. This year was the 20th anniversary, and the “victory” has been celebrated every year – apart from the period of Taleban rule – even though millions of people fled Kabul and thousands died during the civil war that followed.
After 2001 and the fall of the Taleban, the old warlords assumed power, with the support of the United States and the rest of international community. The anniversary began to be marked by big parades. The government stopped these mass events after some major attacks took place. This upset some of the former mujahedin leaders, but the anniversary remained an important date.
This year, however, some people publicly condemned the mujahedin victory as the beginning of a dark period of Afghan history. There were demonstrations, and there was even a television debate between representatives of the former communist regime and the mujahidin, where this was discussed openly.
People are now asking for those who committed crimes to be brought to justice whether they were communists, mujahedin or whatever. They are starting to say such things in public, and asking the government to serve justice on people who committed crimes during the civil war. Some of these crimes were described in the IWPR film.