Statement of Islamic Emirate regarding resumption of activities by the Red Cross in Afghanistan

Post via Islamic Emirate October 12th 2018

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, in accordance with its stated policy, allows all those humanitarian NGOs to operate inside the country that provide aid to the oppressed and war-torn people of Afghanistan and especially victims of war without following political partisanship and in line with principles of international humanitarianism. These NGOs, in accordance with their own stated policies, must organize their aid in a manner that focuses on relieving those in true need instead of spending on trivial and exhibitory matters.

The Islamic Emirate had a number of concerns about the operating methods of International Committee of Red Cross in Afghanistan. As the ICRC failed in addressing these concerns, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan announced on the 14th of August 2018 the cancellation of a security agreement with ICRC through which they operated with complete immunity throughout Afghanistan. Following the cancellation of security agreement by the Islamic Emirate, the International Committee of Red Cross suspended its activities and asked to come to an understanding with the Islamic Emirate.

A two-day moot took place between the officials of Islamic Emirate and ICRC in Doha, the capital of Qatar, after which the International Committee of Red Cross vowed to take effective steps to address the concerns of Islamic Emirate and both sides came to an agreement about the activities of International Committee of Red Cross in Afghanistan.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, through this statement, announces that the security agreement with the International Committee of Red Cross that was cancelled earlier is once again reinstated and calls on all Mujahideen to grant access to activities of ICRC and provide security for the personnel and equipment of this organization.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

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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. She is a former Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development (Distinction). 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”.

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Remarks by Spokesman of Islamic Emirate concerning UNAMA report

Post via Islamic Emirate October 11th 2018

Today the UNAMA office in Kabul published a report stating that civilian casualties were at all time high during the first nine months and according to the report, most of the casualties were caused by the Mujahideen.

We strongly reject this blind verdict of UNAMA. Currently every Afghan understands that the American invaders and military forces of Kabul are the main perpetrators behind deliberate killings, destruction of villages and razing of homes.

The second culprits behind civilian casualties are corruption sowers named Daesh, who are also funded by the intelligence agencies of America and Kabul administration.

UNAMA – as a representative of an internationally reliable organization – must truly prove through their reports that they value humanity and do not misuse civilian casualties to further political agendas.

It is as clear as broad daylight that tens of Afghan women, children, elderly and youth are being murdered every day in their homes and workplaces by gross American criminality, barbaric airstrikes, brutal raids and indiscriminate use of heavy weaponry. Despite such large-scale murder, attributing a large portion of civilian casualties to the Mujahideen is baseless propaganda that seeks to justify American crimes, turn a blind eye to them and mislead the public.

Over the course of nine months, America and Zero-One unit of the Kabul administration have completely destroyed tens of villages, mosques, clinics, schools, religious seminaries, bazaars, markets, farms and even livestock, also causing heavy civilian casualties and these crimes continue unabated.

Publication of inaccurate reports and biased conclusions only serves to encourage criminals and true perpetrators of civilian casualties and can be considered as directly aiding and abetting the killing of civilians.

Spokesman of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

Zabihullah Mujahid

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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. She is a former Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development (Distinction). 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”.

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Islamic Emirate: Statement by Agriculture and Livestock Commission concerning people affected by drought

Post via Islamic Emirate October 11th 2018

The world knows that Afghan people are engaged in a great war. Our land has been invaded and occupied by foreigners. The Islamic Emirate – as a force working for supremacy of an Islamic system and independence of homeland – can merely discharge the great duty of attaining freedom.

We inform all international aid organizations through this statement that a human catastrophe about to transpire in parts of our country affected drought. The lives of people, animals, crops and everything else is faced with the threat of annihilation in Faryab, Badghis, Farah, Nimroz, Marjah and Khan-e-Sheen districts of Helmand and other parts of the country.

We call on international charitable institutions to pay urgent attention to the mentioned areas and other parts of the country to save lives and crops. Large portion of the population are forced into displacement and their crops and livestock are exposed to destruction, the rescuing of which is the shared responsibility of entire humanity.

We ask all aid organizations to deliver urgent aid to areas of the country affected by drought.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

Commission for Agriculture, Livestock, Ushr and Zakat

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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. She is a former Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development (Distinction). 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”.

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Islamic Emirate: Plundering Mineral Resources, further treachery against the Nation and People

Post via Islamic Emirate October 9th 2018

Media reported that on 5th of October, the stooge regime headed by Ashraf Ghani signed two major mining contracts with two suspect and peculiar companies.

According to reports the acting ministers of both Mining and Finance Ministries of the Kabul administration, during a trip to the United States, signed the contracts to extract gold from Badakhshan and copper from Balkhab with companies whose shareholders include high-ranking Kabul administration officials and former ministers.

Transparency International had published a prior report stating that these mineral extraction contracts are being signed illegally and in a controversial manner where the money from these lucrative contacts is embezzled and goes directly to the bank accounts of corrupt officials instead of serving interests of the country.

At a time when the country is facing the worst kind of political and security turmoil, is under an occupation and the Kabul administration is controlled by the corrupt figures who are internationally notorious for embezzlement, corruption, expropriation and the pillage and looting of national resources, signing contracts of tremendous national treasures such as minerals is truly another historical and unforgettable treachery against the nation and people.

The Kabul administration officials who have not wasted any opportunity of national treason over the past seventeen years, have usurped thousands of hectares of land in and around provincial cities, are sucking the life blood of the people through corruption every day, are using government resources and public utilities for personal interests and are stuffing their coffers and bank accounts with public money such as the Kabul Bank incident. This time around it seems that the illegal auctioning of minerals in Badakhshan and Balkhab is another plan by these ruthless criminals to pillage yet more national treasure and in concert with their foreign masters, deprive the Afghans of more resources.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan believes that the natural minerals scattered around the country are national treasures that encapsulates the hope and desires of our nation for future economic development, reconstruction and progress. If these resources are extracted and sold by the corrupt and sold-out Kabul administration officials under suspect contracts during such a delicate time then without a doubt, these national resources will not serve our people but will be transformed into the personal fortunes of foreign invaders and their stooges.

We believe that the mineral wealth of Afghanistan is the shared wealth of all Afghans therefore all processes of extraction and sale must be transparent, open and legal. Things that cannot be excepted from the current corrupt unreliable regime.

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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. She is a former Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development (Distinction). 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”.

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Statement of the Islamic Emirate about the forthcoming bogus elections (Afghanistan)

Post via Islamic Emirate October 8th 2018

Whereas the American invading forces have occupied the land and air sanctuaries of our country, by using all kinds of weapons and applying new techniques of killing, bombing, looting for creating human catastrophes. They are building even more prisons for Afghans who love Islam and their country. The sovereignty of our land is at stake as the privatization of the ongoing war by handing it over to a contract killer group, called Black Water, is under consideration. Therefore, to divert the attention of our people from this untoward situation, a new uproar under the disguise of parliamentary elections is launched, and the media supported and financed by the foreign occupiers is propagating for it incessantly.

We have observed several processes of elections during the previous seventeen years of foreign occupation and none of them have healed the pains of our people and land, rather all of them have resulted in jeopardizing our national interests and perpetuating the illegitimate foreign occupation by singing the notorious security agreement to deceive and mislead the Afghan masses.

The bogus process of elections in countries under occupation is conducted for the sole purpose of legitimizing stooges who are ultimately authorized by the occupying forces. In this way, the people are given a deceptive feeling of having free right casting their votes for the malicious purpose of minimizing their resentment against the foreign occupation.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan believes that the present circumstances of our country do not allow such election processes to take place from either logical or religious point of view and nor are they in favor of our broader national interests. Our own masses as well as the world should realize that more than half of the country is controlled by the Islamic Emirate whereas they exercise strong influence in the remaining areas. Therefore it is evident that these bogus elections will be exhibited only in provincial centers, while the activities of election and complaints commission will be directly monitored by the American ambassador and the final lists of candidates will be prepared by him. On the other hand, this process has turned into a complete public disgrace due to ethnic bigotries, fraud, open bargaining of votes and various other malicious conspiracies.

Therefore it is the demand of our faith and intuition that this process should be considered unreliable, reprobated and prevented from taking place.

The Islamic Emirate, while representing the people and as an emancipative force of the nation, considers this process as fake and a conspiracy to deceive the people and achieve the malicious interests of foreigners.

The Islamic Emirate calls upon the nation, for the sake of protecting the broader national interests and for the prevention of this significant and decisive process being used for the malicious objectives of foreign occupiers, to completely boycott the whole electoral procedure and not participate in it by denying its value and credibility.

Similarly we call upon all those candidates who are still free from the yoke of slavery that neither can our creed, country or the people can be served under the shadow of foreign occupying forces. Instead, your nomination and success directly supports the vicious objectives of American invaders by legitimizing their bogus procedures and conspiracies, which is indeed supporting them in killing the pious Muslims and destroying the country by extending the ongoing war. Therefore you should refrain from participating in this process due to your Afghan identity and perception.

The Islamic Emirate instructs all its Mujahidin to halt this American led process throughout the country by creating severe obstacles for it, while taking extensive and intensive care of civilian Afghan lives and their properties. Those people who are trying to help in holding this process successfully by providing security should be targeted and no stone should be left unturned for the prevention and failure of this malicious American conspiracy.

We reiterate and call upon the foreign invaders and the actual designers of these fake elections that the real solution of the ongoing Afghan crisis lies in the complete withdrawal of all foreign occupying forces and the restoration of a pure Islamic sovereignty herein.

Whosoever mull over other ways and means, can only keep the public opinion busy by their deceptive propaganda, and can never alter the destiny of our nation.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
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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. She is a former Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development (Distinction). 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”.

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Welfare of Prisoners in Afghanistan: A Guide to Upholding Human Rights and a Call for Accountability in the Care of Detainees

Prisoners on hunger strike Pul-e-Charkhi

(Image via Islamic Emirate Afghanistan, IEA)

 “All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated at all times with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. There are no exceptions”

Human Rights and Prisons: A Pocketbook of International Human Rights Standards for Prison Officials (UN and Geneva 2005)

The rights of prisoners in Afghanistan has long been a bone of contention. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Afghan Taliban) has repeatedly made representation to the government in Kabul, their allies abroad and to international organizations through official statements demanding better conditions for those detained. Despite fierce declarations from authorities pertaining to be upholding human rights, this is often not the case and those incarcerated are repeatedly failed.

On the 8th May 2016, IEA issued a press release entitled, “Open letter by the families of vulnerable prisoners to the UN and Secretary General of NATO concerning appalling treatment of detainees” Part of the letter read as follows,

“Following the American invasion of Afghanistan, the thousands of Afghans imprisoned by foreigners and their internal supporters -on grounds of suspicion or due to accusations of their father, brother, friend or some other relative being a Mujahid- have had none of their rights given to them and their human dignity has repeatedly been violated.”

“Torture of detainees, inhumane treatment and killings under suspicious circumstances have been taking place since the onset of the invasion, documented reports about which have been published by international organizations at various intervals over the past one and a half decade. The shocking treatment of prisoners by the vicious Kabul regime and the US has only intensified while the silence and indifference displayed by the international humanitarian organizations and responsible entities towards these actions are encouraging the perpetrators of torture and their horrific treatment of prisoners has reached its climax under an organized programme.”

There was a further outcry when a report in Pajhwok News (November, 2016) highlighted that 800 prisoners were being held beyond their jail terms.

Prisoners wait for release (Image via Pajhwok News)

“Meshrano Jirga member, Nader Baloch said 144 prisoners at Pul-I-Charkhi jail were infected with incurable diseases.

Some of such inmates who should have been released had died inside the jail, he said”

“Baloch said 440 death row prisoners being held at the Pul-I-Charkhi jail complained they their fate remained unknown for years.

The prisoners had requested their sentences be changed into longer-term imprisonment because they had already spent several years in the prison”

http://archive.pajhwok.com/en/2016/11/06/800-pul-i-charkhi-prisoners-held-beyond-jail-terms

Far from conditions improving, the situation within Afghanistan’s prisons has seemingly deteriorated even further culminating in a recent hunger strike at the notorious Pul-e-Charkhi prison on the outskirts of Kabul. Photos circulating on social media showed inmates with their mouths held together by what appeared to be metal rods with concerns raised for their physical and mental wellbeing.

Fears grew for prisoners as they skewered their lips together (Image via IEA)

There are also concerns over prisons in Fayab, Farah and Khost. The US government were supposed to make improvements at Pul-e-Charkhi but an article published in painted a very grim picture indeed.

See following account of Pul -e-Charkhi,

https://medium.com/war-is-boring/take-a-photo-tour-of-americas-unfinished-prison-in-afghanistan-78a2155ae8dd

Elizabeth Fry a famous English prison reformer gave good advice when she said, when you are building a prison you should build it with the thought in mind that you and your children may occupy the cells. Known as the “angel of the prisons” her work was so important in the history of penal reform that her image was depicted on the reverse of £5 notes issued by the bank of England.

Elizabeth Fry British prison reformer (1780-1845)

However this ideal is far removed from the reality of Pul-e-Charkhi jail where renovation was supposed to take place under the US. The “unfinished prison” is described as a filthy nightmare where renovations are still not complete after several years and despite an investment of $20 million. War is Boring article stated,

“SIGAR released photographs showing the bleak, and filthy and crowded conditions. There’s also  moments of the darkly absurd -such as a sign illustrated in comic style instructing illiterate guards not to beat their prisoners”

“The Soviet Union funded Pul-e-Charkhi in 1973. It was-and still is-the largest prison in Afghanistan. Originally built to hold 5,000 inmates, today it houses 7,400. Space is so limited that prisoners sleep in the halls.”

Pul-e-Charkhi Prison (Image via Pajhwok News)

As a result of the deplorable conditions at the prison, in August 2018, IEA took the decision to withdraw protection for Red Cross workers in Afghanistan stating,

“The International Red Cross has not made any arrangements to treat the prisoners or demand the prison officials provide proper medical care for the patients,

Therefore (The Taliban) announces the withdrawal of the security commitment that it had given to the International Red Cross for their activities in Afghanistan.”

http://alemarah-english.com/?p=33154

In its defence the ICRC argued it must maintain impartiality and highlighted that the organization provides medical facilities for wounded persons, provides prisons visits focusing on welfare and repatriates bodies to both sides after clashes. The follow link link details ICRC role and responsibilities.

ICRC: Helping Detainees

“The IRCR aims to secure humane treatment and conditions of detention for all detainees, regardless of the reasons for their arrest and detention. We also seek to alleviate the suffering of their families, particularly by restoring communication between detainees and their relatives”

See website for more details and a specific section on the role of the ICRC in Afghanistan

https://www.icrc.org/en/what-we-do/visiting-detainees

However if ICRC role is limited in its actions by its impartiality, an independent prisoner commission must be set up to inspect prisons, assess welfare of prisoners, ensure rights are upheld and monitor any complaints.

Issues raised in relation to other Afghan prisons include being made to wear inappropriate dress, preventing or delaying family visits (also considered too short), small food portions of low standard, illness due to poor food, suicide attempts, issues over corruption and health care, sport activities and hygiene compromised, offensive guards and restrictions on reading material.

IEA have also highlighted individual cases such as that of Mawlawi Abdul Raqib who had been detained in the notorious prisons of Nangarhar and Bagram and “was martyred after extreme beating, torture and cruelty.” IEA stated,

This is not the first time that our imprisoned countrymen have been brutally martyred in the notorious prisons, detention centers and dark cells of intelligence agencies of America and her stooge Kabul regime and their bodies displaying signs of torture handed over to their family members.

IEA feel more must be done to uphold the rights of detainees and the following areas are highlighted as essential for prisoner wellbeing.

There is no place for torture in detention

Reports continue to record allegations of torture in custody which must be investigated hen complaints arise.

Conflict -related detainees in Afghanistan tortured, ill-treated in government facilities- UN

“A record number of people detained by Afghan police say that have been tortured or ill-treated in the past year, according to a new United Nations report, which notes however that the Afghan Government has committed to eliminating torture and ill-treatment in national detention facilities.

“The continuing torture and ill-treatment of conflict-related detainees is a matter of serious concern, but we acknowledge the genuine commitment and the efforts of the Government to deal with this issue,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan.”

“The UN reported that about 45 per cent of those who were held in ANP custody reported torture – 38 out of 85 children interviewed – gave “credible” accounts of being tortured or ill-treated.

The torture appears to be linked to forcing confessions, according to the report, and stopped once detainees signed a “confession” – even in cases when the interviewed detainees did not understand or could not read what was written in the “confession.”

http://www.refworld.org/topic,50ffbce582,50ffbce5ee,5909d0bf4,0,,,AFG.html

 

Rights of Prisoners

  • Adequate food of a decent standard

 

  • Appropriate medical and dental care for all detainees

 

  • Exercise, educational and recreational facilities

 

  • Right to practise own faith

 

  • Family visits, letters, phone calls

 

  • Clean living conditions

 

  • No overcrowding

 

  • Avoidance of solitary confinement

 

  • No torture, beatings or extra-judicial killings

 

  • An independent body to visit and assess prisons and prisoner rights

 

Afghanistan’s female prisoners

A UN booklet Human Rights and Prisons: A Pocketbook of International Human Rights Standards for Prison Officials (UN and Geneva 2005) details the international standards which can be expected of those in professions caring for detainees and can be found in the Juvenile Prisoner section of this article. The booklet has specific sections dealing with the rights of women and of juveniles in detention which require particular attention and whose needs in some areas may be different to adult male prisoners.

Photo… Afghan female prisoners wait for release (Image via Getty)

“In women prisons, specific accommodation, facilities, and medical care must be provided for women to use, similar to any such facilities outside prison. Similarly if pregnant woman prisoners need medical facilities not available in prison, they must be transferred to maternity hospital to give birth. They must be provided with the care and facilities they need before and after giving birth. Mothers should be allowed to keep their babies and should be provided with the necessary facilities for their babies, and they must have their freedom as if they were outside prison. They should also be allowed to keep in touch with their children outside prison.”

 

From… Rights of a Prisoner according to Islamic Teachings

(Some prisoners may be Shia and there are also many overlaps in what they both Sunni and Shia prisoners require during incarceration and the specific needs of women must be identified also  )

https://www.al-islam.org/rights-prisoners-islamic-teachings-sayyid-muhammad-sadiq-al-shirazi/chapter-4-rights-prisoner

 

Afghanistan: Female prisoners jailed far from home

http://www.refworld.org/topic,50ffbce582,50ffbce5ee,5b8660913,0,,,AFG.html

 

Female Prisoners and their social reintegration

https://www.unodc.org/pdf/criminal_justice/Afghanistan_Female_Prisoners_and_their_Social_Reintegration.pdf

Children Detained in War Zones

Thousands Held Without Charge, Tortured

 

“Thousands of children in conflict-affected countries have been detained without charge for months or even years as national security threats, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. (July 28th, 2016) Untold numbers have been tortured or have died in custody. Governments should immediately stop detaining children without charge and appropriately punish those who mistreat them.”

https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/07/28/children-detained-war-zones

A boy prisoner looks out from his one man cell at a juvenile prison

(Mintpress News)

 

Human Rights and Prisons: A Pocketbook of International Human Rights Standards for Prison Officials (UN and Geneva 2005)

“Children are to benefit from all the human rights guarantees available to adults” plus additional rules apply according to the following handbook.”

“Children who are detained shall be treated in a manner which promotes their sense of dignity and worth, facilitates their reintegration into society, reflects their best interests and takes their needs into account.”

 “Children shall not be subjected to corporal punishment, capital punishment or life imprisonment without possibility of release.”

“Children who are detained shall be separated from adult prisoners. Accused juveniles shall be separated from adults and brought for trial as speedily as possible.”

More on the rights of children can be read here…

https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/training11Add3en.pdf

 

The Religious Rights and Duties of Muslim Inmates in Prison

A Guide for Criminal Justice Personnel

 

https://www.unodc.org/documents/afghanistan/Prison_Reform/ReligiousRightsMuslimInmates.pdf

 

IEA with prisoners waiting to be freed at Eid -ul-Adha (Image via IEA)

The IEA have an obligation under Islamic law to treat all prisoners fairly and observe international law also. Prisoners may be Sunni, Shia, Christian or other and have particular requirements. The following article from Arab News lays out guidance for prisoners of war.

Treatment of Prisoners of War

http://www.arabnews.com/node/401802

prisoner of war (POW) is a person, whether combatant or non-combatant who is held in custody by a beligerent power during or immediately after an armed conflict 

Rights

Under the Third Geneva Convention, prisoners of war (POW) must be:

  • Treated humanely with respect for their persons and their honor
  • Able to inform their next of kin and the International Committee of the Red Crossof their capture
  • Allowed to communicate regularly with relatives and receive packages
  • Given adequate food, clothing, housing, and medical attention
  • Paid for work done and not forced to do work that is dangerous, unhealthy, or degrading
  • Released quickly after conflicts end
  • Not compelled to give any information except for name, age, rank, and service number[27]

In addition, if wounded or sick on the battlefield, the prisoner will receive help from the International Committee of the Red Cross.[28]

When a country is responsible for breaches of prisoner of war rights, those accountable will be punished accordingly.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner_of_war

 

 

Prisoners of the Taliban, Timothy Weekes and Kevin King

 (Image via IEA video)

 

Those holding prisoners of war must ensure they do all they can to maintain the good health of captives, though this may be challenging in a conflict zone. Then the ethical question arises as to whether very ill prisoners should be released. Particular attention should be paid to those that are elderly or have known disabilities.

“We have periodically tried to treat and cure him, but since we are facing a war situation, we do not really have access to health facilities to provide him complete treatment,” Zabiullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, said in a statement.

Mujahid said King suffered from heart disease, kidney problem and swollen feet and the Taliban would hold the US government responsible if anything happened to him.

The Taliban also have a duty to investigate any allegations of abuse of prisoners under their care including former foreign prisoners such as Bowe Bergdahl and The Coleman Boyle family.

 

The importance of Prisoner Exchange as a step on the path to peace

Exchange of prisoners is an important act of compassion, trust and reconciliation as all sides involved in the war in Afghanistan signal that they are interested in pursuing a route towards ending the 17 year conflict and establishing a peace process. The case of US prisoner Bowe Bergdahl who was successfully exchanged for 5 Taliban shows that this is possible and gives hope for further prisoner exchange.

 

 

 (Images via Carol Anne Grayson, Radical Sister blog)

Bowe Bergdahl exchanged for 5 Taliban: A determined father and establishing dialogue

https://activist1.blog/2014/06/01/free-bowe-bergdahl-exchanged-for-5-taliban-a-determined-father-and-establishing-dialogue/

Historic cases of prisoner abuse continue to go unpunished and must be fully investigated

Photographic proof of a mass grave in Dasht-i-Leili, Afghanistan in a Physician for Human Rights (Photo published in the New York Times) 

There are also horrific historical cases of mass prisoner abuse which have still to be investigated such as the “Convoy of Death” and the discovery of mass graves by Boston, Massachusetts based group Physicians for Human Rights, at Dasht-e-Leili where Taliban prisoners are alleged to have been buried. Back in 2009, CNN reported, “President Obama has ordered national security officials to look into allegations that the Bush administration resisted efforts to investigate a CIA- backed Afghan warlord over the killings of hundreds of Taliban prisoners in 2001”. Where is the justice for their families?

See following stories,

Afghan Massacre, Convoy of Death (video clip)

“Telling the horrific journey undertaken by thousands of prisoners who surrendered to America’s Afghan allies after the siege of Kunduz, this compelling documentary reveals how the Pentagon lied to the world in order to cover up its role in the greatest atrocity of the Afghan War. With unique footage captured by award-winning Afghan filmmaker Najibullah Quraishi, it shows how American Special Forces re-directed containers carrying living and dead Afghans into the desert, and stood by as survivors were executed and buried in mass graves.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyaU0w1Kdlw

and

Obama orders review of alleged slayings of Taliban in Bush era

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/07/12/obama.afghan.killings/

This further case at a prison near Mazar-i-Sharif involving Taliban prisoners documented in 2002 published in the British Medical Journal demonstrates a long history of prisoner abuse in Afghanistan.

Conditions at Afghan prison violate human rights, report says

“The appalling conditions in an Afghan prison near Mazar-i-Sharif violate international standards for the treatment of prisoners, says a report from Physicians for Human Rights.”

“Up to 3500 Pakistani and Afghan Taliban fighters are being held at Shebarghan prison, which is severely overcrowded. Cells built to house 10-15 prisoners now contain 80-110 men. The water supply is unclean, the food inadequate, the sanitation non-existent, and prisoners are exposed to the winter cold.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1122256/

Further articles to read regarding Taliban concerns for prisoner rights

Remarks by spokesman of Islamic Emirate concerning mistreatment of inmates in prisons

https://activist1.blog/2017/07/17/remarks-by-spokesman-of-islamic-emirate-concerning-mistreatment-of-inmates-in-prisons/

Islamic Emirate: Inhumane conduct of the Kabul Administration with prisoners

https://activist1.blog/2017/08/07/islamic-emirate-inhumane-conduct-of-the-kabul-administration-with-prisoners/

Reaction by spokesman of Islamic Emirate concerning the martyrdom of Mawlawi Abdul Raqib in Bagram prison

https://activist1.blog/2015/12/17/reaction-by-spokesman-of-islamic-emirate-concerning-the-martyrdom-of-mawlawi-abdul-raqib-in-bagram-prison/

How acting on prisoner complaints can help change conditions

The following article from the Institute for War and Peace Reporting highlights what can be achieved by monitoring detainee conditions and responding to their concerns

IWPR report brings change at Afghan prison

“The Afghan authorities have taken steps to improve conditions at a prison in Badakhshan province after an IWPR report revealed serious failings at the institution.

Not only was the building was at risk of collapse, with construction on a new site still incomplete after six years, but illness was rife amid severe overcrowding and little fuel or warm water.

In late December, shortly after the story was published, Afghanistan’s council of ministers sent a high-ranking government delegation to Badakhshan.”

http://www.refworld.org/topic,50ffbce582,50ffbce5ee,5b86606ea,0,,,AFG.html

Summary

All sides holding political and other prisoners in Afghanistan and prisoners of war must recognize their rights under International Law and respect Islamic teachings on the treatment of prisoners and prisoners of war. No person should be “disappeared” and anyone doing so must be held accountable. Prisoners have the right to legal representation whilst detained in Afghan jails, must not be abused nor held beyond their prison sentence. Those working in prisons have a “duty of care” towards those in their custody and are expected to adhere to international rules of conduct. Official bodies must be in place both to inspect conditions at prisons and for independent investigation of prisoner complaints. As efforts are made towards establishing peace in Afghanistan, treatment of detainees will come under greater scrutiny with possible future investigations so it is essential that all involved in prisoner welfare uphold their human rights or risk the consequences of their actions.

Note: This article was written on Seotember 11th 2018 and shared with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

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. She is a former Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development (Distinction). 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”.

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Contaminated Blood, new potential risk to UK blood supply from synthetic cannabinoids: Have lessons been learnt from the past?

A man and women down the side of Debenhams Manchester England where the drug Spice induces a zombie-like state and could pose a safety risk to the UK blood supply

(Image: Manchester Evening News)

A Public Inquiry into how haemophiliacs came to be infected with HIV and hepatitis C through contaminated blood has now finally been launched in the UK after decades of alleged cover-ups by government, the medical profession and pharmaceutical companies. The Inquiry also includes those who were infected through whole blood transfusions though haemophilia and whole blood are completely separate cases that came under very different legal arguements.

Many haemophiliacs received blood products called factor concentrates for an inherited disorder where their blood does not clot. These products were often manufactured from the pooled plasma of thousands of paid US prison donors with many alleged safety violations and human rights abuses affecting both blood donors and recipients. Haemophiliacs were repeatedly exposed to multiple viruses. In contrast, whole blood recipients received British blood from a small number of unpaid donors usually in a one off exposure to a single virus at a time before screening for HIV and hepatitis C was introduced. Haemophiliacs are a specific patient group whereas those who had whole blood were given blood for many different reasons such as pregnancy, car accident or for blood loss during a violent attack such as a stabbing.

An important question now arises on blood safety… Has the UK learnt from past mistakes and are authoritities on the alert for any new dangers in blood supplies at home and abroad? I suspect not!

US blood safety alerts over synthetic cannabinoids

In recent days, this author has become aware of new safety alerts from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) which could potentially also affect blood safety in the UK. The recent alert focuses on safety concerns regarding synthetic drugs (cannabinoids, marijuana) such as K2, Spice and AK47 that appear to originate from China. These drugs put both those taking them at risk and persons receiving any blood they may have donated through selling their blood at collection centres. The practise of “blood for money” is common in the US and known to increase risk as blood donors may not be as honest in answering health questions where there is a financial reward.

On the 20th July 2018, USA Today reported that the FDA had issued warnings after synthetic marijuana tainted with rat poison had sickened many people, the publication states,

Federal health officials are warning the public about a version of synthetic marijuana laced with rat poison that’s caused uncontrolled bleeding in hundreds of people and killed several others who have ingested the tainted products. 

The synthetic cannabinoid, sold under names such as Spice, K2 and AK 47, has hospitalized people in 10 states since early March. That’s when health officials in Illinois discovered people at hospital emergency rooms with severe bleeding had ingested synthetic marijuana laced with brodifacoum, a lethal anticoagulant found in rat poison.

The article goes on to say that the FDA highlighted that these illegal products were “unfit for human consumption” and a “significant public health concern” for people who smoke synthetic marijuana and the U.S. blood supply,

Officials said the illegal drugs are associated with adverse health effects such as rapid heart rate, vomiting, increased blood pressure, reduced blood supply to the heart, kidney damage and seizures. Users also have exhibited violent behavior or expressed suicidal thoughts.

https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/07/20/fda-warning-synthetic-marijuana-rat-poison/802585002/

The full statement from the FDA concerning risks issued on the 19th July 2018 can be read on the following link.

Statement from FDA warning about significant health risks of contaminated illegal synthetic cannabinoid products that are being encountered by FDA

https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm614027.htm

The CDC alert can be read here,

Outbreak Alert: Potential Life-Threatening Vitamin K-Dependent Antagonist Coagulopathy Associated with Synthetic Cannabinoids Use

CDC noted,

  • Three patients in Illinois were discovered to have donated plasma prior to admission to hospital for treatment. This issue has not been reported in Indiana or Wisconsin. Cases were reported to and advice was requested from CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Questions regarding plasma/blood donation are added to the case questionnaires. Previous patients were followed up in this regard and new patients are asked about plasma/blood donations.

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USCDC/bulletins/1e6dac3

On August 2nd, reporter Jim Spiewak (KUTV) reporting from Salt Lake City Utah highlighted changes to the way blood is collected including 4 new steps taken by the Red Cross to minimise risk to blood recipients. The Red Cross now warns that “anyone who’s used synthetic drugs since March should not donate blood.” Spiewak’s report can be viewed here,

FDA warns synthetic drug use could contaminate blood donations

https://kutv.com/news/local/fda-warns-synthetic-drug-use-could-contaminate-blood-donations

AABB also put out a statement

Regulatory Updates: Warning Refarding Synthetic Marijuana Use by Plasma and Blood Donors

http://www.aabb.org/advocacy/regulatorygovernment/Pages/Warnings-Regarding-Synthetic-Marijuana-Use-by-Plasma-and-Blood-Donors.aspx

Blood safety concerns for the UK

Although these alerts are for the US, the UK must learn from past mistakes and take action now to ensure the safety of our own blood supply. The use of Spice has now reach “epidemic” proportions in the UK as shown in a recent article in the Manchester Evening news. A distressing video showed users in a zombie like state filed one afternoon in the city centre, see following link,

“The pale wasted figures caught in a Spice nightmare thats turning Piccadilly Gardens into a hell on earth”

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/spice-nightmare-manchester-city-centre-12870520

See also, the following article from chemist Dr Simon Cotton,

Synthetic Spice: The science behind the drug

https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/perspective/synthetic-spice.aspx

Although most haemophiliacs now receive synthetic plasma, some may still require blood transfusions during liver transplantation and other medical procedures and must be ever on the alert. Receiving blood from a person taking a synthetic drug which causes bleeding could be disastrous for haemophiliacs

Although most haemophiliacs now receive synthetic plasma products for their bleeding condition, some may still need blood transfusions during liver transplantation following hepatitis C infection or for other medical procedures and must be ever on the alert. A blood donation from a person that has taken a synthetic drug which causes bleeding could be disastrous to a person with a clotting disorder. Haemophiliacs are often regarded as the “canaries in the coalmine” so whatever blood borne viruses and other blood hazards are out there will usually show up later in the general public.

The toxicity of these synthetic drugs have been highlighted in a recent Guardian article where nurses attending to prisoners have been affected by second-hand smoke, even “knocked unconscious”. What would be the impact regarding a person being injected intra venously with blood from a donor that had taken Spice? See following link,

“The spice epidemic in UK prisons is putting nurses at risk”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/16/spice-epidemic-uk-prisons-nurses-psychoactive-drugs-jails

Is there a risk to blood safety from dangerous diet pills?

Then there are dangerous diet pills which are known to have killed and affect metabolism and could potentially cause harm to anyone receiving their blood. In the UK blood donors are asked which medication they take and are excluded depending on their replies. Perhaps questions should specifically be asked about whether an individual is or has recently taken diet pills which contain 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP). As Dr Simon Cotton states,

“DNP is a highly toxic and very dangerous substance, and it was even used to fill shells as an explosive during World War I…. the use of DNP in humans has been banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration since 1938. The UK Food Standards Agency have also said that ‘it is not fit for human consumption’.”

“DNP is very toxic, people have got lethal doses just by absorbing it through the skin. If you have taken too much, you can’t go back on it, there is no antidote”

https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/chemistry/news/2018/birmingham-chemist-warns-against-taking-diet-pills.aspx

Campaigners on blood safety will now make representation to government to ensure that they are aware of new FDA and CDC guidelines on blood safety so that they can be examined and where necessary implemented in the UK also. Those responsible for blood safety also need to check out the potential impact of being exposed to the ingredients of diet pills via blood donation. Dr Simon Cotton spoke to the Birmingham Mail and was quoted as saying, “the commercial use of DNP is as a pesticide or herbicide and, in 2009, 11 workers in a Chinese chemical factory – plus nine of their relatives – contracted DNP poisoning, their skins turned yellow or even black and two died.”

The history of contaminated blood has shown us a valuable lesson. UK authorities were notoriously slow to pick up on early alerts from the US in relation to HIV/AIDS and hepatitis and implement recalls of blood products and key safety measures. Now what has been learnt from previous mistakes should ensure the highest safety measures are in place to avoid further contamination of blood supplies. Those affected by this scandal do not want a repeat of the past where many lives were lost!

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. She is a former Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development (Distinction). 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”.

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