Solidarity for Education & Students in Afghanistan

After this month’s attack on the campus of Kabul University
scholars and academics working on Afghanistan and myself have joined in the
Statement of Solidarity with Educational Institutions Under Attack in Afghanistan
See the full statement below or here
See for additonal reactions here and here

Statement of Solidarity with Educational Institutions Under Attack in Afghanistan
„We, the undersigned international community of scholars, express our condemnation of the recent attacks targeting students and faculty in Afghanistan. These brutal attacks are part of a series of violent assaults against the innocent civilians of Afghanistan who are the primary victims of a protracted war.
On Monday November 2, three militants stormed inside Kabul University and fired indiscriminately at students and faculty. The attack lasted 6 hours, killing at least 35 people and wounding 50 more. Kabul University is Afghanistan’s preeminent academic institution, the oldest and largest campus in the country with over 25,000 students. This was the second attack inside an educational institution in just over one week in Kabul. On October 24, a suicide bomber attacked Kawsar-e Danesh, a tutoring center in a predominantly Hazara neighborhood, killing 43 and injuring 57. These two recent attacks represent a direct threat by extremist groups to a generation of students and scholars who are striving for a better future for their country.
As international scholars, we are outraged by the attacks on universities and educational institutions in Afghanistan. We stand in solidarity with the families of the victims and all Afghans who risk their lives to pursue their education in conditions of war, violence and insecurity. Students and educators must be ensured safety and security while attending school, without any threat or fear for their lives and to be able to work, study, and learn in a protected and safe environment.
We condemn:
Any form of harm to students and faculty by all actors engaged in the war in Afghanistan.
We demand that the Afghan government, the United States, the European Union, regional countries, international organizations, including the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, leverage their influence to:
1. Investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of these indiscriminate and calculated attacks on civilian populations and protected sites, such as universities and educational centres.
2. Safeguard the rights of students and educators and create concrete measures to protect and reduce the risk of any attacks on all educational institutions in Afghanistan.
3. Hold all actors engaged in the war in Afghanistan accountable and pressure them to comply with the Geneva Convention and respect civilian lives during war.
4. Investigate all sources of support for violent extremism in Afghanistan and ensure their cessation.
5. Rally international concern against threats to civilian life, such as working with media organizations to publicly acknowledge and condemn violent actions that endanger the safety and security of the Afghan people.
6. Work with all stakeholders, such as non-governmental and civil society organizations in Afghanistan, to ensure the continuity of safe education without fear of violence or attack.
7. Include the right to education and physical safety for students and educators as an urgent measure in the ongoing peace talks in Doha, Qatar. „