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Press release from the Afghan Refugee Committee in Norway

July 17th, 2007

- Refugees sent to Taliban areas

- Many of the Afghan refugees who have been forcibly returned come from areas which are terrorised by local warlords, and that are now also being attacked by the Taliban. The local representatives of the UNHCR in Kabul have confirmed that these are unsafe areas which are impossible to go to, says Zahir Athari, spokesperson for the Afghan Refugee Committee in Norway.
Wednesday it was decided by a Grand Committee of Immigration Appeals Board  that two refugees who come from unsafe areas in Afghanistan are allowed to stay in Norway. The reason given is that it is too dangerous to return refugees to other areas of Afghanistan where they have no family network. At the same time, the director of the Immigration Appeals Board, Terje Sjeggestad, emphasised  that the decision would not have had any bearing on the cases of refugees that have already been returned. The reason being that these refugees come from safe areas, and that their return to Afghanistan is conditioned on their repatriation in their district of origin.

- UNHCR says area unsafe

Four representatives for the refugees who participated in the Asylum March met with a local representative of the UNHCR in Kabul on Sunday July 8.

- We also think that this area is unsafe. But this is not our decistion. It is a Afghan governmental team report and decides what are safe and unsafe areas. And then we recongnise it, the UNHCR representative told the refugees.

- These have to be sensational information for the Norwegian public in light of the fact that Norwegian authorities have always emphasised that they follow the advices of the UNHCR. Now we have confirmation of what we have always suspected, that the advices that the Norwegian authorities really base their decisions on, is in reality provided by the Afghan government which is full of war criminals with a need to portray themselves and their government in a favourable light, emphasises Zahir Athari.

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Day 16 - Break at Søristuen Forr

June 4th, 2007

DSC_0239.JPGOn our way from Sør-Fron to Fåvang today, we stopped at the farm Søristuen Forr. There Inga, Anna and Jon Toverud served us buns and soft drinks, and wished us good luck with our journey.

Story on evening news on NRK1

June 4th, 2007

Yesterday there was story on the evening news on NRK1 with the bishop of Hamar, Solveig Fiske. You can see the story here - see the menu to the right. (There is as of now, no direct link, but we will update this post as soon as one is avaliable.)

Day 15 - Kvam to Sør-Fron

June 3rd, 2007

DSC_0070.jpgAfter the break at Vinstra, we went to Rudi farm in Sør-Fron. After a while, we met Knut Kjorstad, who guided us further. He had brought with him a pilgrimage staff.

The pilgrimage road goes straight trough Rudi farm. There we were met by the famous artist Øystein Rudi and others. They served us limonade. At the farm, there were many people, due to some revue there later that day.

MP3 Hør Øystein Rudis fremføring av Fanitullen

Øystein Rudi demonstrated the instrument Hardingfele (some special violin), and played the tune Fanitullen. After Nabi Dilnewas played his Afghan instrument, the Dambura, while Øystein was studying the technique. After, Terje Hong played “Vår” (”Spring”), which he has composed himself, on an accordion, while Øystein played the violin.

DSC_0161.jpgAfter the visit at Rudi farm, we went towards Sør-Fron church, which was about 30 minutes away. There we were greeted by the priest Knut Kvidaland. After the photo session in front of the church we went into the church community house. There was lots of floor space, kitchen and showers.


DSC_0207.jpg

Earlier that day, when we were about to leave Kvam, Babur from Rustom farm had called Afghans in Vinstra. These came later on the evening and served Afghan food.

Music video from Nabi Dilnawaz

June 2nd, 2007

Here you can watch a music video from Nabi Dilnawas, who participates in the Asylum march. The song is in Dari, and the title is “Chara Gosh Ba Harfi Jahil Kadi To”.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/PXLNQWN9_84" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Day 15 - Break at Vinstra

June 2nd, 2007

Pause ved VinstraToday we went from Kirketeigen in Kvam at about 10am, and went on our way towards Sør-Fron. At 15pm, we took a break at Vinstra, and ate bread(nan), bananas(kela) and apples(seb).

Now Vidar, who works as a teacher in Vinstra, is guiding us.

Day 14 - Otta to Kvam

June 2nd, 2007

Today we left from Solvang youthhouse in Otta and went towards Kvam. We walked along the pilgrimage road, past Kringen, where a big encounter between Norwegian people and a Scottish army took place in the early 16th century, and further to Rustom farm. Some kilometers north of Rustom farm we got lost in the forest, but after some time spent on searching, we came down to the E6 (Europe road 6), and were greeted by Babur, who works at Rustom farm. We walked further to Rustom farm, and were served limonade by Anne Sagliend, Kristin and others. From Rustom farm we were guided by Gunnar Saglien, all the way to Kirketeigen in Kvam.

At Kirketeigen Babur made qabouli palow, which is an Afghan dish with rice and meatballs. After the dinner, we drank tea, Nabi played the Dambura and the keyboard, and Aziz also played the Dambura.

Dag 13 - Otta

June 2nd, 2007

On the trip towards Otta, we stopped at Nord-Sel church. There we were served te, waffles and biscuits We got a guide there from Nord-Sel to Otta. In Otta we was greeted warmly by the local people. We slept at Solvang youthhouse in Otta, and were served fish and rice for dinner, and homemade cakes.

During the evening, we had a cultural event. Dilnewas played his dambura, and played keyboard, song with some of the other march participants, and Jafari song Daido.

Press release

June 1st, 2007

Otta, 01.06.07

10-15 Afghan asylum seekers at Trandum

Even though the war in Afghanistan is increasing, even though we are marching the pilgrimage route from Trondheim to Oslo, to inform the people about this war and our needs for protection, the hunt performed by the Norwegian police after Afghan asylum seekers is continuing.

Last week eight Afghan asylum seekers was deported. Currently there are between 10 and 15 Afghans in the asylum prison at Trandum at Gardermoen (Oslo Airport). Several of these participated in the hunger strike in 2006. According to the plan they will be deported this week.

We ask those of you who still care about human values and believe in the right to live, to try to rescue these people from being sent back to a wartorn country.

Afghan Refugee Committee, Zahir Athari

WWW: www.asylmarsj.no
Zahir Athari: 417 48 088

Day 13 - Dovre til Otta

May 31st, 2007

Today we ate breakfast at Hjerleid school. Now we are walking southwards, towards Otta. The trip today is closer to 36 kilometer.

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