Posted By: Erica

I met with a man named Shafek today. He works with a victim’s group, helping develop transitional justice programming for Afghan victims of conflict. Most of the Afghans in this group have suffered losses in the pre-2001 conflicts, and Shafek’s own experiences are drawn from the Afghan Civil War in the 1990s. He was 12-years-old at the height of the Afghan Civil War, and one day he and his family heard that his uncle had been injured in fighting in the next neighborhood over from them. His father sent him and his brother out to find out, because they were young enough that there was a chance they might not be arrested or immediately killed.  Unfortunately this was not the case. He and his brother were captured and tortured.

Over a decade later he still bears deep scars on his legs and his back from the mistreatment, yet he did not flinch to show me these scars, or to tell me what happened to him. He and his brother made it back, he said. What makes him tear up is the memory of the two family members who “disappeared” about the same time, and never returned.

Image courtesy of CIVIC
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