Exposed: US Special Forces Neglects Civilian Deaths In Afghanistan
By Athena Yenko | August 12, 2014 2:46 PM EST
Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai speaks during a news conference in Colombo March 6, 2014.
The U.S. Special Forces is neglecting the cases of civilians being killed in its operations in Afghanistan, a report titled, "Left in the Dark: Failures of Accountability for Civilian Casualties Caused by International Military Operations in Afghanistan," exposed.
The report is based from interviews of 125 Afghan individuals, including victims, eyewitnesses and family members who lost their loved ones due to U.S. Special Forces operations in Afghanistan. The families witnessed numerous civilian casualties, aside from their loved ones.
Also, a thorough review of documentary record showed that the U.S. military's investigative and prosecutorial practices fall far short of what is needed to ensure accountability for alleged crimes against civilians, the report found.
"In numerous cases in which there is credible evidence of unlawful killings of civilians, the military has failed to conduct prompt, thorough and impartial investigations," the report reads.
Rafiuddin Kashkaki, the father of a 16-year-old boy who was killed in a U.S. Special Operations Forces raid on a family compound in May 2010, told Amnesty International that no military investigators "ever came" to see them.
Kashkaki said that the family did everything they could in their fight for justice. However, there was no U.S. investigation that transpired in their knowledge.
"We were left in the dark and we're still in the dark," Kashkaki's words were.
Meanwhile, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) for Afghanistan said in a statement that it has reviewed the report from Amnesty International.
"ISAF thoroughly investigates all credible reports of civilian deaths and injuries when tactical circumstances allow, and conducts after-action reviews to determine the specific circumstances of each event. Coalition leadership also ensures that ISAF takes steps to minimize the risk to civilians during military operations and works with our Afghan partners to do the same," the statement reads.
The U.S. Forces and the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) is effectively working together to reduce the civilian casualties. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan's (UNAMA) Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict report dated July 2014 has, in fact, acknowledge that civilian casualties in Afghanistan decreased to 77 percent in 2013, ISAF said.
ISAF, in its statement, blames the Taliban's lack of regard for human life as the primary cause for more than 90 percent of civilian casualties.
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