Afghanistan: Human Rights groups must investigate alleged targeting of civilians and use of chemical weapons?

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Abdulqahar Balkhi, an English speaking Twitter account affiliated with Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan raised the alarm recently regarding targeting of civilians in Kunduz. He tweeted,

Savagery of hireling troops in Imam Sahib district (), phone call by local to Pashto TV

“90 civilians martyred over past 13 days of fighting, deliberate targeting of women, children, young, old by commando forces”

“11 women martyred between late afternoon hours & dusk time” Local distressed & call on world to help…

(The word the word “hireling” is often used to refer to troops supported by US). This was later followed up by a detailed post in which the following was stated,

“after the stooge forces of Kabul regime faced a humiliating defeat at the hands of Mujahideen in Kunduz, they begun a brutal genocidal campaign in an effort to retake the provincial city and surrounding districts.

The other day the enemy forces shelled homes of locals with heavy artillery in Zar Kamar and Shahrawan areas of Imam Sahib district, destroying civilians compounds that were packed with innocent women and children, leaving tens of martyrs in its wake, destroying civilian property and causing intense sufferings.

They have launched similar savagery in Kunduz province’s Dashti Archi district where the homes of locals are deliberately targeted and innocent civilians mostly women and children are martyred at the orders of General Murad Ali Murad.”

See link for full statement,

“Remarks of spokesman of Islamic Emirate concerning the brutalities of Kabul regime in Kunduz”

https://activist1.wordpress.com/2015/11/10/remarks-of-spokesman-of-islamic-emirate-concerning-the-brutalities-of-kabul-regime-in-kunduz/

The question must be asked, what is being done by international human rights groups in the region to check out these allegations? This is especially important given that there are already allegations of war crimes related to the US bombing of the Medecins Sans Frontier (MSF) hospital in Kunduz with staff now calling for an independent and transparent investigation.

See following,

“Kunduz hospital had complained of threats from Afghan Special Forces in July, a full and independent investigation is essential”

https://activist1.wordpress.com/2015/10/04/kunduz-hospital-had-complained-of-threats-from-afghan-special-forces-in-july-a-full-and-independent-investigation-into-bombing-is-essential/

It seems western media is very quick to jump regarding any allegations against Taliban especially “gang-rape” allegations (repeatedly denied) but not so hot on the uptake if any rights violations are related to US and allies. Take the recent New York Times article for example which runs a correction for misleading the public re Kunduz.

Correction: October 14, 2015

“An earlier version of this article misidentified the holiday during which the Taliban invaded Kunduz. It is Eid al-Adha, not Eid al-Fitr. The earlier version also referred incorrectly to reports alleging rapes of women by the Taliban that were broadcast on two Afghan TV stations, Tolo TV and One TV. Tolo TV broadcast allegations that women were raped in the Kunduz University dormitory, and One TV broadcast reports of rapes in the women’s prison; it is not the case that both stations reported on the alleged rapes in both locations.”

See following link,

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/15/world/asia/taliban-targeted-women-kunduz-afghanistan.html?_r=0

If the author Alissa Johannsen Rubin had done a little more research she would have come across the following which I highlighted in an earlier article,

“Bashir Ahmad Gwakh, an Afghan journalist pointed out that the Higher Education Minister, (Dr Farida Mohmand) stated that, ‘Tolo’s baseless report about rape in Kunduz university hostel has caused serious damage to female education and because of this girls are scared to return to university.’”

Islamic Emirate publish a monthly report of alleged war crimes by US and allies. They recently highlighted a case in August as follows,

“on the 8th of August of the ongoing year (2015) US forces accompanied by Commander Abdul Razziq, the head of border police forces and the current police chief of Kandahar, carried out a raid on Saman Karez village in Sarlat area of Shorabak district.

The American invading forces brutally targeted the home of Haji Abdul Ali Aka with the initiation of the operation, martyring 13 family members on the spot while injuring 2 women and 5 children before detaining and taking them to an undisclosed location.”

Full details on link below,

“Islamic Emirate: Statement by Commission for Military Affairs Department for Prevention for Civilian Casualties regarding use of chemical weapons and indiscriminate civilian casualties caused by enemy in Shorabak”

https://activist1.wordpress.com/2015/11/10/islamic-emirate-statement-by-commission-for-military-affairs-department-for-prevention-for-civilian-casualties-regarding-use-of-chemical-weapons-and-indiscriminate-civilian-casualties-caused-by-enemy/

Human rights must not be selective. No one should assume because an insurgent group brings attention to alleged rights violations that this is an invalid claim. If rights organization take this attitude, their work will not be taken seriously and could influence how they are perceived on the ground and effectiveness during day to day working within conflict zones.

Links

“Islamic Emirate: War crimes of foreign invaders and their internak stooge forces October 2015”

https://activist1.wordpress.com/2015/11/10/islamic-emirate-war-crimes-of-foreign-invaders-and-their-internal-stooge-forces-october-2015/

Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad.  Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. (She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”)

About Carol Anne Grayson

Blogging for Humanity.... Campaigner/researcher global health/human rights/drones/WOT/insurgency http://www.esrc.ac.uk/ESRCInfoCentre/PO/experts/Health_and_Wellbeing.aspx Exec Producer of Oscar nominated documentary Incident in New Baghdad, currently filming on drones.
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