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This report was written by John Sifton, a researcher in the Asia Division of Human Rights Watch. It is based on research conducted Human Rights Watch researchers in 2003 and 2004 in Afghanistan and Pakistan and from New York. Brad Adams, Executive Director of the Asia Division, and Joe Saunders, Deputy Program Director, edited the report. James Ross, Senior Legal Advisor, provided legal review. Saman Zia-Zarifi and Marc Garlasco also reviewed the report and provided comments. Ami Evangelista, Liz Weiss, Angelina Fisher, and Jane Stratton provided research assistance. Production assistance was provided by Ami Evangelista, Veronica Matushaj, Andrea Holley, Fitzroy Hepkins, Jose Martinez, John Emerson, and Jagdish Parikh.

Human Rights Watch would like to thank the Afghan women and men whom we interviewed for this report and who assisted us in our investigation. For security reasons, many of them cannot be named here.

We would also like to thank the countless staff and officials of non-governmental organizations and U.N. agencies in Afghanistan who have assisted us with our work. We also want to specially thank the numerous international and Afghan television, radio, and print journalists in Kabul who have provided information for this report.

We would especially like to thank Ahmed Rashid for his support and encouragement. Human Rights Watch also thanks Barnett R. Rubin and Patricia Gossman for their ongoing assistance.

Our work on Afghanistan has required significant financial resources. We thank the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Stichting Doen, and Rockefeller Brothers Fund for their generous contributions to our emergency work in Afghanistan in 2002 and 2003.

More recently, we wish to acknowledge the generous support of the Annenberg Foundation, which has enabled Human Rights Watch to sustain our monitoring of Afghanistan.

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; Carroll Bogert, associate director; Michele Alexander, development director; Rory Mungoven, advocacy director; Barbara Guglielmo, finance director; Lotte Leicht, Brussels office director; Steve Crawshaw, London office director; Maria Pignataro Nielsen, human resources director; Iain Levine, program director; Wilder Tayler, legal and policy director; 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. Brad Adams is executive director; Saman Zia-Zarifi is deputy director; Sara Colm and Mickey Spiegel are senior researchers; Meg Davis, Meenakshi Ganguly, Ali Hasan, Charmain Mohamed, John Sifton, and Tejshree Thapa are researchers; Thomas Kellogg is Orville Schell Fellow;Liz Weiss is coordinator; and Ami Evangelista is associate. Joanne Leedom-Ackerman is chairperson of the advisory committee.

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March 2004