|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
DECEMBER 13, 2004
|CONTACT: Human Rights Watch
Tel: 212-290-4700, Fax: 212-736-1300
New Detainee Deaths Uncovered in Afghanistan Rumsfeld Should Expedite Prosecutions to Prevent Further Abuse
NEW YORK, NY -- December 13 -- New cases of prisoner deaths have emerged from U.S. detention facilities in Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch said today in an open letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Human Rights Watch said the newly uncovered cases highlight the government's continuing failure to establish accountability for abuses, and urged Rumsfeld to speed investigations and prosecutions of personnel and officials implicated in cases of mistreatment and death. |
"It's time for the United States to come clean about crimes committed by U.S. forces in Afghanistan," said Brad Adams, Asia division director for Human Rights Watch. "The United States has to get serious about prosecuting people implicated in prisoner deaths and mistreatment."
The newly-uncovered cases include:
"The U.S. government is dragging its feet on these investigations," said Adams.
Human Rights Watch said today that the failure to investigate and prosecute abuses had created a culture of impunity among some interrogators, and allowed abuse to spread. Several military guards and interrogators implicated in earlier abuses in Afghanistan, before the Iraq war, were later sent to work at Abu Ghraib. Some of these personnel have been implicated in new abuses there.
In the letter today, Human Rights Watch also called on the Secretary of Defense to order the public release of an internal Pentagon investigation of detention operations in Afghanistan conducted this summer by Brig. Gen. Charles H. Jacoby.