Dáil debates

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Afghanistan Crisis: Statements


6:32 pm

Photo of Patricia RyanPatricia Ryan (Kildare South, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

The spotlight that shone on Afghanistan during the weeks before the withdrawal of American troops has truly been extinguished. Right now, 5,000 miles from here, the Taliban is emerging from the shadows and making its presence felt. Ireland needs to do more for the people of Afghanistan. We are an elected member of the United Nations Security Council for a two-year term which began in January of this year. We currently hold the presidency of the Security Council and we must shine a beacon of hope to show that the world has not forgotten the Afghan people. Imperial interests have moved on but tyranny remains.

I was contacted last month by a small business owner in my constituency who employs more than a dozen people. He is originally from Afghanistan and is now a proud Irish citizen. He is extremely worried for the safety of his family members who are still in Afghanistan. He is of the Hazara community, a minority group that was persecuted by the Taliban 20 years ago, and his family members are now in grave danger. He is worried for his teenage sister, who is not married and who, therefore, can be forced to marry a Taliban soldier. He is worried for his teenage brothers, who could be forced to enlist in the Taliban army. He is worried for his father, who has a disability and is looked after by his brother. He worries about who will take care of his brother, who may have to flee the country or join the army. That fear about looking after his father is really there. He is worried for his nephews, who are under ten, and worried they could be sent to camps and brainwashed.

He is worried that their mother, who is a widow after tragically losing her husband, could be forced to marry a Taliban soldier. This is just one man who is worried about his family members. Unfortunately, there are many more men and women who are concerned about their families. This man did not come to Ireland as a refugee and, therefore, does not qualify for family reunification. I wrote to the Minister about his case in August and am still awaiting a reply. I plead with him to help this man and to respond to me on the matter.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.