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The massacre in Mazar-i Sharif has attracted only passing attention by the outside world and has elicited little outrage even from those countries that have played a part in attempting to contruct a peaceful settlement to the Afghan conflict. In part, this is due to the fact that information about the killings and detentions in Mazar-i Sharif has been slow to reach the outside world. Survivors only began to reach Pakistan in early September after an often arduous trek through the mountains in Afghanistan. In Pakistan, they remain at risk of reprisal from the Taliban. Most, having lost everything in their flight from Mazar, face a bleak future and little assistance as refugees in Pakistan.

The events in Mazar represent the latest chapter in Afghanistan’s history of revenge killings. Because every group has its scores to settle in Afghanistan's long war, a thorough investigation of the events in Mazar-i Sharif would represent a first step toward breaking the cycle of violence.

Human Rights Watch
Asia Division

Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world.

We stand with victims and activists to bring offenders to justice, to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom and to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime.

We investigate and expose human rights violations and hold abusers accountable.

We challenge governments and those holding power to end abusive practices and respect international human rights law.

We enlist the public and the international community to support the cause of human rights for all.

The staff includes Kenneth Roth, executive director; Michele Alexander, development director; Reed Brody, advocacy director; Carroll Bogert, communications director; Cynthia Brown, program director; Barbara Guglielmo, finance and administration director; Jeri Laber, special advisor; Lotte Leicht, Brussels office director; Patrick Minges, publications director; Susan Osnos, associate director; Jemera Rone, counsel; Wilder Tayler, general counsel; and Joanna Weschler, United Nations representative. Jonathan Fanton is the chair of the board. Robert L. Bernstein is the founding chair.

Its Asia division was established in 1985 to monitor and promote the observance of internationally recognized human rights in Asia. Sidney Jones is the executive director; Mike Jendrzejczyk is the Washington director; Patricia Gossman is the senior researcher; Jeannine Guthrie is NGO liaison; Smita Narula is a researcher; Mickey Spiegel is a consultant; Olga Nousias and Tom Kellogg are associates. Andrew J. Nathan is chair of the advisory committee and Ko-yung Tung is vice chair.

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