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UN-Backed Theatre Tour Reaches Bamyan

BAMYAN, July 2 (PAN): A theatre tour, supported by the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), reached Bamyan on Wednesday with a performance in front of the Giant Buddha Cave.

The play highlighted the need to deal with the impunity of past human rights abuses spanning nearly three decades of conflict, the UN mission said. The play will continue its tour with a performance in Yakawlang on July 9, close to a mass grave site discovered last year.

Named after an anonymous prisoner called AH-5787, the interactive theatre show uses a medical metaphor to illustrate how many continue to physically carry the pain of past conflicts and how victims struggle to find a way to confront and live with the past.

Head of UNAMA's human rights unit Norah Niland said: "The people of Afghanistan are crying out for justice. There is a great history of story-telling and oral history in Afghanistan and through this play we hope to tap into that tradition. Justice deals not only with prosecutions, but also with the need for a deep understanding of what happened in the past."

According to a UNAMA press release, the main character, Sardar, is haunted during the play by ghosts who represent victims of incidents of violence from the years of conflict. Sardar wants to get rid of these

voices in his head and asks many questions in his quest for peace.

Do these voices want knowledge or information? Do they want truth? Do they want prosecutions; justice; revenge; peace? Sardar explores these questions in a monologue with the audience.