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Police, Civil Servants Detained Incommunicado in Ghazni, Malistan, Kandahar

(New York) – Taliban forces advancing in Ghazni, Kandahar, and other Afghan provinces have summarily executed detained soldiers, police, and civilians with alleged ties to the Afghan government, Human Rights Watch said today. Residents from various…
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News

Ensure Due Process, Victim Role in War Crimes Trial

(New York) – The Afghan government should bring appropriate war crimes charges against Aslam Farooqi, leader of the Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP), an affiliate of the Islamic State (ISIS), for his alleged role in directing attacks…
The Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) released this image of Abdullah Orakzai, also known as Aslam Farooqi, the leader of an ISIS affiliate. © 2020 National Directorate of Security
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…
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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
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US Should Stop Supporting Kandahar Strongman

When it comes to cosying up to alleged torturers in Afghanistan, the United States military has been a slow learner. The US-led NATO Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan just published a photo of Gen. John Nicholson, commander…
A photo depicting General John Nicholson, Commander of United States forces in Afghanistan (C) with Kandahar's General Abdul Raziq (R).
News

UN Committee Calls for Action against Gen. Abdul Raziq

When the United Nations Committee against Torture grilled Afghanistan’s delegation last month about government efforts to curb torture, members asked about one person in particular: Gen. Abdul Raziq. That was no accident. Raziq, the…
General Abdul Raziq, Afghan National Police chief for the southern city of Kandahare, addresses officers during their graduation ceremony at the Kandahar Regional Training Center in southern Afghanistan, Jun. 7, 2012.
News

UK Should Assist in Relocating Those at Risk

(New York) – The deportation of Commander Faryadi Zardad from the UK to Afghanistan on December 14 poses a clear danger for witnesses who testified against the former warlord in his 2005 conviction for torture and hostage taking, Human Rights Watch said…
A undated picture released on July 18, 2005, by London's Scotland Yard shows former Afghan warlord Faryadi Sarwar Zardad.
News

Hekmatyar Deal an Affront to Victims of Grave Abuses

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, one of Afghanistan’s most notorious war crimes suspects, who as prime minister in 1992 shelled his own capital, is coming home after decades in exile, thanks to a peace deal with the national unity government. His return will compound…
Former Afghan Prime Minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar speaks to a Reuters correspondent in Tehran Febuary 5, 2002.
News
The Afghan government has struggled to explain an incident of police torture documented in a video  circulated this week on social media. The two-minute video, filmed on a smart phone, shows police dragging a suspect…
Screenshot of a video apparently showing Afghan police in Kandahar abusing a detainee.
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…
News
The Afghanistan government appears to have a new policy for dealing with government officials accused of sadistic torture: it rewards them with job promotions. President Hamid Karzai has announced that he will appoint Asadullah Khalid as chief of…
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Testimony before the Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan

Introduction Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, thank you for giving me the opportunity to testify. Monsieur le President, membres du comité, merci de m'avoir donnée l'occasion de témoigner. It means a great deal to me to be before this body as…
News
When the corpse of Abdul Basir was found in an Afghan detention facility in December 2009, the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS), which had been holding Basir for the previous month, claimed he committed suicide by throwing himself out a…
News

Hostage-Taking is a War Crime

(New York) - The Taliban should immediately release all hostages in its custody, Human Rights Watch said today. The recent abduction and hostage-taking of at least five Afghan, two German, and 23 South Korean civilians, and the reported killing of several…
News

Three Groups File Lawsuit Seeking Information about ‘Ghost’ Detention

(New York) – In the most comprehensive accounting to date, six leading human rights organizations today published the names and details of 39 people who are believed to have been held in secret US custody and whose current whereabouts remain unknown. The…
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The Bush administration's get out of jail card for torturers

If the Bush administration is still good at anything, it's this: distracting its opponents and seizing little victories from what might have been big defeats. Take the administration's recent efforts to respond to the Supreme Court's decision in Hamdan v…
News

Those in CIA Custody Must Also Be Covered

The Bush administration’s belated decision to recognize the applicability of the Geneva Conventions to terrorism suspects in military custody is a step forward, Human Rights Watch said today. But because the Pentagon memorandum that codifies the change…
News

Investigations Lag Two Years After Abu Ghraib Photos

(Washington, D.C.) – Two years after the Abu Ghraib scandal, new research shows that abuse of detainees in U.S. custody in Iraq, Afghanistan, and at Guantánamo Bay has been widespread, and that the United States has taken only limited steps to investigate…
Report
By the Numbers Findings of the Detainee Abuse and Accountability Project Summary By the Numbers Analysis Criminal Punishments: Verdicts and Sentencing Officers' Liability Under the Command Responsibility Doctrine Reliance on Non-judicial Hearings and…
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(New York) – Accounts from detainees at Guantánamo reveal that the United States as recently as last year operated a secret prison in Afghanistan where detainees were subjected to torture and other mistreatment, Human Rights Watch said today. Eight…