Lack of jobs and opportunity, a deteriorating economy and a delicate security situation are forcing some young people into desperate measures. Fed up with the government’s failure to respond to their sit-in in front of Parliament, unemployed graduates staged a demonstration in front of the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs Martyrs and Disabled on November 1. They are demanding that the government create jobs and do something to help the country’s youth.
“It is the 55th day of our protest in front of the Parliament, but we have not received any satisfactory response to our needs,” said Asfandyar Awesta, one of the protestors.“So we all came here in front of the Ministry to remind the government that almost all young people, even those with higher education, are unemployed.”
Unemployed youth have formed a group called “Junbish ale Bekari” or “Movement against Unemployment,” and have been camped out in front of Parliament since early September.
In videos shown on local media, it appears that the demonstrators tried to block the gate and stop disabled people from entering the ministry. A scuffle broke out, in which some of the disabled could be seen striking the protestors with their crutches.
The demonstrators took it personally. “The ministry had paid some of the disabled to attack the demonstrators,but it did not last long,” added Awesta.
As a result of the protest, entrance to the Ministry was blocked for most of the day.
The protesters did gain an audience with the minister, Nasrin Oryakhil, but they said it was not productive.
“The minister asked some of our representatives to meet her, but we could not get anything,” said Awesta. “She just told us to be patient and give us some time.”
The spokesperson for the Ministry, however, said that the protesters and the minister had reached an amicable agreement.
The demonstrators have now returned to Parliament, where they will continue their protest.