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Scenes from Sayed ul-Shuhada High School in Kabul, Afghanistan, where as many as 85 people including many schoolgirls were killed in an attack this weekend, should break anyone’s heart. They certainly broke mine. In 2017 a filmmaker and I spent a week at…
News

Both Sides Should Abide by Laws of War

Update: On May 3, 2021, Tajik authorities reported that 14 houses were fully destroyed, 4 buildings including a secondary school were damaged, and 15,000 people were evacuated from the three districts of Isfara, in Tajikistan’s Sughd region,…
Cars damaged during a firefight on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border are seen near the settlement of Koi-Tash, Batken region, Kyrgyzstan, April 30, 2021.
News

Investigate Recent Insurgent Attacks on Women, Religious Minorities

(New York) – Insurgent groups in Afghanistan have escalated their targeted killings of women and religious minorities, Human Rights Watch said today. Recent attacks have killed at least five women, mostly journalists and media workers, and seven…
Security personnel inspect the site of a bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday, March 15, 2021. 
News

Investigate Airstrike on Mosque School that Killed at Least 12 Children

(New York) – Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh has ordered the arrest of the individual who reported civilian casualties from an Afghan government airstrike on October 22, 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. The Afghan air force struck a mosque…
Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh at an inauguration ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 9, 2020. 
News

Suicide Bombing Latest Attack Targeting Shia Community

Madina, 17, headed off to class last Wednesday as she had always done, pursuing her hope to go to university and earn a business degree so she could start her own company. But for Madina and 39 other students – all under 20 years old –…
Men carry the coffin of a relative who died in the suicide bombing at Mawoud Academy in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 16, 2018.
News

Press Afghanistan, US to Fully Investigate, Hold Forces Accountable

(Brussels) – NATO has failed to fully investigate alleged unlawful airstrikes in Afghanistan, which may contribute to rising civilian casualties, Human Rights Watch said today. Member countries attending the NATO Summit in Brussels on…
NATO helicopters land at an Afghan and US Special Forces base in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, July 7, 2018.
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.
Report
Summary There is no safe place in Kabul—you don’t know where the next attack will be. –Mohammad A., shopkeeper who survived an insurgent attack in Kabul, November 13, 2017 Since early 2016, insurgent groups in Afghanistan have sharply escalated…
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Government and Donors Need to Bolster Support for Victims

(New York) – Increased insurgent attacks on civilians in Afghanistan have left victims’ families and survivors in dire need of financial, medical, and psychosocial support, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Afghan…
People flee after an ambulance rigged with explosives detonated in central Kabul, killing 103, January 27, 2018.
News
My almost 2-year-old daughter fell on her head in a Washington, DC Starbucks, and it made me think of the children I met in Afghanistan just weeks before.  I was there to meet with civilian victims of the decade-and-a-half-long conflict there – from both…
News

Slight Fall in Ground Fighting Civilian Casualties by Government Forces

When I was in Kabul a few days ago, I caught up with an old Afghan friend, who remarked that the relentless violence in Afghanistan is hard for outsiders to comprehend. The mounting toll of dead and wounded has become abstract, he said, hard…
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Appoint Strong Experts, Press All Parties to Cooperate

Bombing and shelling of civilians. Denial of access to food and medicine. Landmines and cluster bombs. Torture and abduction. Child soldiers. For more than two years, international, regional, and Yemeni human rights groups called on the…
Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck three apartment buildings in Sanaa on August 25, 2017, killing at least 16 civilians, including seven children, and wounding another 17, including eight children. After an international outcry, the coalition admitted to
News

ISIS Affiliates Target Shia Minority

(New York) – The attack on a Shia mosque in Kabul claimed by the Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) on August 25, 2017, is a serious violation of the laws of war, and an apparent war crime, Human Rights Watch…
A man inspects a Shia mosque after an attack claimed by the Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 25, 2017.
News

Re: Civilian Protection in Afghanistan

May 15, 2017 James Mattis Secretary of Defense Department of Defense 1000 Defense Pentagon Washington, D.C. 22202 Re: Civilian Protection in Afghanistan Dear Secretary Mattis: We write…
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Ground Fighting Taking Horrific Toll on Civilians

Children represent the fastest growing group among civilians killed and injured in Afghanistan’s long-running armed conflict. The latest update from the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) documents 639 conflict-related deaths and 1,…
Afghan boys look out from behind a damaged wall after a Taliban attack in Kabul, Afghanistan October 6, 2015.
News

Leaked Data Spotlights Devastating Civilian Toll From US, NATO, and Taliban Forces

(New York) - US and NATO forces should immediately agree to investigate any previously undisclosed civilian casualty incidents in Afghanistan revealed in US military documents leaked to the media on July 25, 2010, Human Rights Watch said today. …