For Immediate Release
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Afghanistan: More US Troops Must Not Harm Afghan Civilians
WASHINGTON - Amnesty International has called on the
US to establish a consistent, clear and credible mechanism to
investigate civilian casualties resulting from military operations
after President Barack Obama said he would send 30,000 extra troops to
This is now particularly urgent due to the current lack of
accountability and transparency within regular US military forces and
civilian intelligence agencies, as well as private contractors.
“Recent efforts by the US and NATO forces to minimise civilian
casualties are a step forward but the US government must ensure that
any troops who violate Afghan civilians human rights are held to
account,” said Madhu Malhotra, Asia-Pacific Deputy Director. “More US
troops must not lead to more harm to Afghan civilians.”
Amnesty International recognises that anti-government groups,
including the Taleban, are responsible for the majority of civilian
casualties and injuries. This does not diminish the responsibility to
offer support to those injured by Afghan and NATO/US forces and to
bring those suspected of violations of international humanitarian and
human rights law to justice.
Respect for international law, including human rights law and
international humanitarian law by all parties involved is a
prerequisite to bringing security to Afghanistan.
Clearer chains of command and rules of engagement that abide by
international law must be established for all forces to ensure the
safety of Afghan civilians.
Without a clear sense of who is involved in these operations it is
impossible for victims and their families to make complaints, inquire
about investigations, and ultimately seek justice.
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