(New York) -- Human Rights Watch today released recent testimonies documenting abuses against ethnic Pashtuns in northern Afghanistan, and warned that the deployment of an expanded international security force was needed to end a campaign of violence and intimidation there.

Our research found that Pashtuns throughout northern Afghanistan are facing serious abuse, including beatings, killings, rapes, and widespread looting," said Peter Bouckaert, senior researcher for Human Rights Watch. "The interim Afghan government will need much greater support from the international community to bring security and stability to the north."
Human Rights Watch today released a selection of recent testimonies documenting abuses in northern Afghanistan, and a comprehensive report is forthcoming.

Human Rights Watch researchers have just completed four weeks of research in northern Afghanistan, visiting dozens of villages and communities affected by violence and looting. Their research established that the three armed political factions currently in power in northern Afghanistan-Junbish-i Milli-yi Islami, Jamiat-e Islami, and Hizb-i Wahdat-are subjecting ethnic Pashtuns to murder, beatings, sexual violence, abductions, looting, and extortion.