Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Contact

Mariya Parodi, media@aiusa.org

Press Release

Trapped Civilians in Afghanistan Must Be Allowed Out of Laskhkar Gah Amid Heavy Fighting

WASHINGTON -

Civilians must be allowed safe passage out of Lashkar Gah following three days of intense fighting between Afghan government and Taliban forces that has blocked all exit routes from the city and forced at least 35,000 people to flee their homes, said Amnesty International.

The heavy fighting, in which Afghan forces supported by United States airstrikes are defending the Helmand Province capital from a Taliban assault, has taken out power across the entire city as well as telephone lines and internet access.

With nowhere to go, some of the tens of thousands displaced are reported by local media to have sought refuge in homes in neighboring areas, while hospitals have admitted hundreds of civilian casualties according to United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) in Afghanistan.

“The situation for civilians in Lashkar Gah is grave and could deteriorate rapidly in the coming days. Tens of thousands of people are trapped in the middle of a bloody battle that shows no sign of abating,” said Omar Waraich, Head of South Asia at Amnesty International.

“To avoid this turning into a humanitarian disaster, all parties to the conflict must ensure that civilians are protected and allowed to safely leave the war zones and get out of the city.”

According to UNOCHA, the highway linking Lashkar Gah to Kandahar - the only direct route out of the city - is inaccessible due to the presence of improvised explosive devices.

Amnesty International is calling on the Afghan government and the international community to ensure that those displaced are provided with immediate shelter, food and other humanitarian support.

"So far, there has been no word from the Afghan government on any support or protection that will be provided to civilians, especially those displaced. With the help of the international community, the authorities must expedite the provision of mobile clinics, food deliveries and other essentials as a lifeline to the residents of Lashkar Gah," said Omar Waraich.

###

Amnesty International is a global movement of millions of people demanding human rights for all people – no matter who they are or where they are. We are the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization.

ACLU Demands 'Truly Systemic Overhaul' of US Civilian Harm Policies

"While a serious Defense Department focus on civilian harm is long overdue and welcome, it's unclear that this directive will be enough," says director of the legal group's National Security Project.

Jessica Corbett ·


'This Is Not Over': Alaska Supreme Court Rejects Youth Climate Case

"With the state continuing to undermine their health, safety, and futures," said the plaintiffs' lead counsel, "we will evaluate our next steps and will continue to fight for climate justice."

Jessica Corbett ·


Analysis Finds 'Staggering' Rise in Voter Suppression After GOP Restrictions in Georgia

"This is why we are fighting this new law in court," said one voting rights advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·


'Egregious': Pennsylvania Court Strikes Down Mail-In Voting Law

The ruling was stayed pending an appeal to the state's Supreme Court and as one voting advocate put it: "The fight's not over yet, folks."

Julia Conley ·


Big Win for Open Internet as Court Upholds California Net Neutrality Law

One legal advocate called the Ninth Circuit's opinion "a great decision and a major victory for internet users in California and nationwide."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo