Only two days after the deadly suicide attack on Tabyan Cultural Center in Kabul, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said some of Tabyan’s activities are illegal because the center does not have a license for political activities.
According to the MoJ, Tabyan has only a license and permission for social and cultural activities not political activities, because it is not registered as a political party.
Meanwhile a member of the leadership team of the center said four years ago they received the license of a political party under the name of Tabyan.
According to the MoJ, there are 66 political parties registered at the ministry, but Tabyan is not among them. Justice ministry spokesman Aman Reyazat said Tabyan is registered along with 3,000 other cultural organizations at the ministry and they have the permission to carry out cultural activities only.
“The social institution based on the demonstration law does not have permission to run profitable or political activities and also they should not be dependent on any foreign institution or country,” Reyaza said.
But Tabyan’s website lists various activities and mentions political activities and also states that the director of the center is the chairman of the Tabyan party.
“The Islamic Tabyan party also from 2011 has completed some registration steps and has been registered at the justice ministry as an independent party. The party has its own activities, but are in line with the social and cultural activities of Tabyan Cultural Center and the AVA news agency,” Sayed Mohammad Hashimi, a member of the leadership team of Tabyan Cultural Center said.
Political activities carried out at the center have raised questions in the past. But government has also in the past been criticized for allowing organizations that are not licensed to carry out political activities.
“Cultural and political activities should be separate from each other. Even those who gather under any name should be clear about what their aim is. And now that these people had gathered there under the umbrella of a cultural organization or for political moves, it was government’s responsibility to safeguard people’s lives,” MP Zahir Sadaat said.
Thursday’s attack on Tabyan Cultural Center in Kabul claimed the lives of over 40 civilians and injured more than 80 others.