7 die, 14 brutally wounded during food distribution in Afghanistan

by MCR Correspondent

Seven people have died at the distribution of coronavirus relief packages in Afghanistan.

The victim, who protested over what they considered unfair food aid distribution during the coronavirus pandemic, violently engaged the police in Afghanistan’s western Ghor province on Saturday May 9, 2020.

“Fourteen more were wounded during the protest which was sparked by growing unhappiness at the distribution allegedly favouring people with political connections,” said Gulzaman Nayeb, a lawmaker representing Ghor.

“Police opened fire after some among the around 300 protesters threw stones and started firing guns and trying to enter the governor’s house,” said Mohammad Arif Aber, a spokesman for the provincial governor of Ghor.

He put the toll at two dead and five wounded, adding police were among the wounded. He denied that aid was being unfairly distributed.

Among the dead was Ahmad Naveed Khan, a local volunteer radio presenter who was sitting at his nearby shop and hit in the head by a bullet, according to Ahmad Quraishi, Executive Director at the Afghanistan Journalists Centre.

“The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) is looking into the worrying reports of police firing on protestors”, its chairperson Shaharzad Akbar said on Twitter.

The government has been distributing food aid around the country as the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic have led to many job losses and rising food prices.

Fierce complaints have trailed the distribution of relief packages in the region with people complaining that “Those who are receiving the limited aid that are not the ones who are most deserving.

They added that,”Beneficiaries are the ones who have connections to local authorities or local officials.”

Afghanistan has reported 4,033 cases of the coronavirus and 115 deaths.

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