A Humanitarian Corridor for Afghanistan

Requested by Sant’Egidio Community, the Waldensian Table and the Evangelical Churches

Marco Impagliazzo

A humanitarian corridor is requested to save thousands of men and especially women from the vendetta and violence of the Taliban that have re-conquered Afghanistan. The request is made in a note of the President of Sant’Egidio Community, Marco Impagliazzo; of the Moderator of the Waldensian Table, Alessandra Trotta; and of the President of the Federation of Evangelical Churches in Italy, Luca M. Negro.

Italy Is Committed

“Europe must act to guarantee the protection of all those fleeing from Afghanistan, re-conquered by the Taliban. During these hours thousands of men, women and children are risking their life simply for having believed in the values of democracy, of freedom to express themselves and to study. We ask also for Italy’s commitment, which earlier experienced “humanitarian corridors” successfully, to adopt this instrument to facilitate the evacuation of Afghan refugees,” they explain.

Previous Experiences

“For over six years we, Catholics and Protestants, have worked together to build humanitarian corridors from Lebanon and, thanks to a new protocol with the Ministries of the Interior and of Foreign Affairs, we are starting the first “humanitarian corridor” for 200 refugees from detention centers of Libya and, in parallel, making it possible to evacuate another 300, continues the note.

On the basis of this experience we are ready to do a similar project in favour of Afghan refugees, ready to collaborate with the institutions, the local administrations and other entities of the civil society, with which we want to share this urgent humanitarian project.

Not Reject Those that Have Asked for Asylum

It is an emergency that can be well understood from the dramatic images that are arriving from Afghanistan. But the look of Impagliazzo, Trotta and Negro goes beyond: “Those Afghans can then be helped that are now living in Europe in precarious conditions. We ask all European governments to suspend the practices of expulsion already decreed for hundreds of Afghans requiring and denied asylum and, in addition, to re-examine the requests rejected, in view of the tragedy of the situation on the ground.  We reaffirm that the moral and political strength of Europe is also built by guaranteeing rights and humanitarian protection to those that are persecuted and have already suffered the tragedy of war, “ they conclude.

The Astalli Center: Protect Civilians

It is also the first concrete proposal, after the appeal of the Holy Father, during last Sunday’s Angelus. Father Camillo Ripamonti, President of the Astalli Center, the Jesuits’ structure concerned with refugees, also made a similar request. “We make an appeal to the International Community, to European and national institutions to have as a priority the safety and protection of civilians, if they have easy and secure ways of access in Europe for those seeking to leave Afghanistan. We owe it to a people that for decades have lived in terror and war, in a country in which we were directly involved and for which we have obvious responsibilities.”