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Since the 9/11 attacks, U.S. forces fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere have carried out targeted killings that frequently kill and injure civilians.

On September 17, Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, gave an extraordinary news conference in which he admitted that the United States had killed an aid worker in Kabul and his family; McKenzie apologized, adding that…
The Pentagon, Washington, DC, United States.
News

Potential Complicity in Unlawful Detention of ISIS Suspects, Children

Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden should promptly repatriate their nationals unlawfully held in life-threatening conditions in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the four governments today.…
Children fly a kite at al-Hol camp in northeast Syria. 
News

ABC Investigation Exposes Alleged 2012 War Crimes in Afghanistan

(Sydney) – Australia’s Defence Department should reexamine previously dismissed cases of alleged summary executions and other war crimes in Afghanistan in light of new evidence, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Defence…
Australian SAS search operation in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan, in May 2012. Screenshot from ABC News, Four Corners, March 16, 2020.
News

Failing Diplomatic Talks Show Need for a Different Path

(Geneva) – Almost three in every four people responding to a new poll in 10 European countries want their governments to work for an international treaty prohibiting lethal autonomous weapons systems, Human Rights Watch said today. At…
201911arms_robots_stunt
News

Disband All Irregular Paramilitary Forces, Cooperate With Independent Investigations

(New York) – United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)-backed Afghan forces have committed summary executions and other grave abuses without accountability, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. These strike forces…
A car burned during a raid by the Khost Protection Force in Tani district, Khost province, Afghanistan, July 28, 2019.
Report
Summary Through much of 2019, the United States government and Taliban insurgents were engaged in negotiations toward an agreement that could lead to the eventual withdrawal of US forces in Afghanistan. Those negotiations officially halted, at least…
News

Reports of Ill-Treatment Show Need for Transparency, Monitoring

(Paris) – Uzbek authorities should immediately and unconditionally release an Afghan citizen whose 13-year imprisonment and alleged torture in custody have only recently become known, the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, International…
A guard in a solitary confinement block at an unidentified prison in Uzbekistan. Prisoners in solitary confinement in Uzbekistan’s prisons experience cramped cells without bedding—some in total darkness, others with permanent bright lights
News

US, Afghan Forces Need to Visit Sites, Obtain Witness Accounts

(New York) – The United States and Afghan governments are not adequately investigating possibly unlawful airstrikes in Afghanistan, which may contribute to rising civilian casualties, Human Rights Watch said today. Recent…
An Afghan woman receives medical treatment after being injured during an airstrike in Herat province, Afghanistan, August 29, 2017.
News

Afghan Civilian Casualties at Record Levels

Today’s bombing in a crowded area of central Kabul was yet another reminder of how deadly the war has become for ordinary Afghan civilians. The morning rush hour attack in Zanbaq Square, close to the presidential palace and a number of…
Kabul bomb blast - 31 May 2017
News

Europe Still Returning Failed Asylum Seekers to Embattled Afghanistan

Another day, another bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. Old news? Not for the families of the more than 90 people who just lost a loved one. Not for the more than 400 people who have been maimed or otherwise injured. And not for several…
Photo of damaged cars and buildings after a bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 31, 2017.
News

Develop Security Plan to Protect Embattled Minority

(Kabul) – The Afghan government should develop a security plan to better protect minority Shia during high-profile public events, Human Rights Watch said today. On November 21, 2016, a suicide bomber killed at least 32 worshippers, including children, and…
Relatives of victims mourn at a hospital after a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, on November 21, 2016.
News

Insurgents’ Increasing Threat to Embattled Minority

A gunman wearing an Afghan National Security Forces uniform opened fire on Shia mourners at Kabul’s landmark Sakhi Shrine on Wednesday, killing 18 people and wounding 54. The attack on members of the Shia Hazara community occurred on the eve of Ashura,…
Afghan Shia Muslims men mourn over the grave of a victim who was killed in Tuesday's attack at the Sakhi Shrine in Kabul, Afghanistan October 12, 2016.
News

China has “anti-terrorism” plans for Afghanistan. And they don’t bode well for human rights.

Last week in Kabul, President Ashraf Ghani endorsed a proposal by the visiting Chinese military chief, Gen. Fang Fenghui, for Afghanistan to join China, Pakistan and Tajikistan in an “anti-terrorism” alliance. And now, national security advisor Mr…
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News
The US Defense Department reportedly meted out only administrative punishments to 11 military personnel involved in the October 3, 2015 airstrikes on a Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders, MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, that killed 42…
MSF Hospital Ruins
News

MSF Hospital Attack Demands Compensation, Independent Investigation

(Washington, DC) – The United States military’s statement that US forces “mistakenly struck” a Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders, MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan needs to be followed up by a credible, independent, and transparent…
News

Amid an influx of Iraqis and Syrians into Europe, the West is neglecting another group of refugees also in desperate need of help.

TOVARNIK, Croatia — Rajab Ali, a 16-year-old Hazara boy from Afghanistan’s Bamyan province, was silently weeping when we found him standing at the last remaining opening in the 12-foot-high razor-wire border fence Hungary has constructed on its…
Afghan Refugees
News
The latest reports of targeted US attacks on  militant leaders abroad – one in Libya and one in Yemen —once again raise the issue of the secrecy around these attacks, especially the drone attacks under CIA jurisdiction.   But Congress may be…
News
The Associated Press (AP) photojournalist Anja Niedringhaus has become the latest victim of violence targeted at media in Afghanistan. Niedringhaus was shot dead on April 4 in eastern Afghanistan’s Khost province while covering preparations for the…
News

Evidence of US Complicity in 18 Deaths Demands Thorough Investigation

(Washington, DC) – The United States government should undertake a thorough and impartial investigation into new allegations of US complicity in the killings of 18 men in Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch said today. An article published on November 6, 2013…
Report
Summary With the rapid development and proliferation of robotic weapons, machines are starting to take the place of humans on the battlefield. Some military and robotics experts have…