‘Afghan lives matter’: Hundreds of people, including Afghans, demonstrate in Paris

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Hundreds of people including many Afghans demonstrated in Paris on Sunday to demand the “immediate evacuation” of threatened families in Afghanistan, a week after the Taliban takeover there.

“We demand the immediate repatriation of all families and persons in danger,” a 31-year-old social worker, himself a refugee who gave his name only as Ezat, told AFP.

The protesters waved signs and banners reading “Afghan lives matter,” “Evacuation now” and “Afghans welcome.”

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“We are here for our families,” said 24-year-old Muhammad Younas. “They aren’t safe over there... if they stay they will die.”

Reza Jafari, head of the association Children of Afghanistan and Elsewhere and organizer of Sunday’s event, told the protesters: “A humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding. We must prevent it now, open humanitarian corridors so that people who want to leave can leave.”

Organizers demanded a meeting with French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian, who told the Journal du Dimanche that the cases of hundreds of Afghans who are seeking to leave will be reviewed.

The French army has airlifted about 600 mainly Afghans on five flights out of Kabul in the week since the collapse of the Afghan government. A sixth flight is expected late on Sunday.

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