Thursday, April 19, 2007

Impact of War on the Civilian Population of Afghanistan: new report from Amnesty International

Amnesty International today released a new report on the impact of the war on the civilian population of Afghanistan.

In their report: All who are not friends, are enemies: Taleban abuses against civilians they claim that:
"The Taleban have been responsible for hundreds of civilian deaths. According to the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC),(4) around 600 civilians were killed or wounded in the first seven months of 2006. Around 70 per cent of these casualties were linked to Taleban attacks.(5) The Taleban have targeted and killed civilians whom they consider to be "spies" or "collaborators", including Afghan and foreign reconstruction and aid workers, religious leaders, government administrators, women’s rights activists and teachers. The Taleban have attacked civilians and civilian objects, such as school buildings, with little or no effort to distinguish between these and military targets, such as soldiers and combat vehicles.

...While Amnesty International has reported elsewhere on its concerns over the past two years relating to abuses by international forces,(6) this report focuses on violations of international humanitarian law and human rights abuses by the Taleban, covering the period January 2005 to March 2007, including threats, intimidation and attack targeting civilians and indiscriminate attacks, including suicide bombings attacks on schools, abductions and unlawful killings of captives. The report urges all parties to the conflict to adhere to international humanitarian law by which they are bound and to operate within a human rights framework, and makes detailed recommendations to the Taleban and other armed groups."
Previous AI documentation of abuses committed by US troops and their allies includes:

2005 USA / Afghanistan: More deaths and impunity

2006 Afghanistan: NATO member states must uphold human rights