World Report 2000 Entry

World Report 1999 Entry

Afganistan: Massacres of Hazaras in Afghanistan
February 2001        (C1301)
This report documents two massacres committed by Taliban forces in the central highlands of Afghanistan, in January 2001and May 2000.  In  both cases the victims were primarily Hazaras, a Shia Muslim ethnic group that has been the target of previous massacres and other serious human rights violations by Taliban forces.  These massacres took place in the context of the six-year war between the Taliban and parties now grouped in the United National Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan (the “United Front”), in which international human rights and humanitarian law have been repeatedly violated by the warring factions. Ethnic and religious minorities, and the Hazaras in particular, have been especially vulnerable in areas of conflict, and Taliban forces have committed large-scale abuses against Hazara civilians with impunity. In this report Human Rights Watch calls upon the United Nations to investigate both massacres and to systematically monitor human rights and humanitarian law violations by all parties to Afghanistan’s civil war.
(C1301), 02/01, 12pp, $3.00
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Afghanistan: The Massacre in Mazar-I Sharif
On August 8, 1998, Taliban militia forces captured the city of Mazar-i Sharif in northwest Afghanistan, the only major city controlled by the United Front, the coalition of forces opposed to the Taliban. The fall of Mazar was part of a successful offensive that gave the Taliban control of almost every major city and important significant territory in northern and central Afghanistan. Within the first few hours of seizing control of the city, Taliban troops killed scores of civilians in indiscriminate attacks, shooting noncombatants and suspected combatants alike in residential areas, city street sand markets. Witnesses described it as a "killing frenzy" as the advancing forces shot at "anything that moved." Retreating opposition forces may also have engaged in indiscriminate shooting as they fled the city. Human Rights Watch believes that at least hundreds of civilians were among those killed as the panicked population of Mazar-i Sharif tried to evade the gunfire or escape the city.
(C1007) 11/98, 17pp., $3.00
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(C318) Towards a Political Settlement in Afghanistan, 8/91, 7 pp., $3.00/£1.95

Human Rights Abuses and Violations of the
Laws of War Since the Soviet Withdrawal

For the last decade, Afghanistan has been the scene of some of the most serious human rights violations on record. About one half of the country's prewar population are either refugees, internally displaced, or dead. Most of the abuses were at one time attributable to the Afghan government and its Soviet advisers. Since the withdrawal of the Soviet troops in 1989, the intense fighting of the earlier years of the war has lessened in much of the Afghan countryside, but military operations by all parties still cause extensive civilian casualties in contested regions. Certain mujahidin commanders, for example, continue to launch poorly aimed rockets against Kabul and other cities. The Pakistani ISI and the CIA have encouraged these attacks and have supplied weapons to commanders who undertake them. In addition, all parties to the conflict rely on the widespread use of landmines without taking precautions to ensure that civilians are warned of the mine fields. To date, despite accords signed in 1988 in Geneva designed to end the war, fighting continues and civilian casualties mount.
(810) 2/91, 168 pp., ISBN 0-929692-81-0, $15.00/£12.95
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