Posts Tagged ‘human rights’
Another Afghan human rights report, another one-sided story.
Here’s what the Associated Press had to say about a news release from the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) this week (highlights mine):
The Afghan human rights commission reported Wednesday that 28 civilians have been killed so far in NATO’s offensive on the Taliban stronghold of Marjah, and urged pro-government forces to take greater care in distinguishing between civilians and militants …. military officials say that despite the care taken, the offensive has still been marred by civilian deaths, including a rocket attack last week that hit a house and killed 12 people. The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission said in a statement Wednesday that it had confirmed 28 civilians deaths in the Marjah fighting, based on witness reports. Thirteen children were among the dead. About 70 civilians have been wounded, 30 of them children, the commission said. NATO has confirmed at least 16 civilian deaths, while outside observers have reported 19. The commission said witnesses had told them that most of the casualties came from coalition gunfire and rockets. Taliban fighters have been seen using women and children as human shields in the fighting _ stationing them in windows or on roofs of houses from which they fire, according to military commanders and Associated Press reporters on the ground. “We do appreciate the fact that less airpower was used,” commission spokesman Nader Nadery said. “Still, as the operation continues and the number rises, we get more and more concerned.” The commission asked for allied troops to exert greater care in distinguishing civilians from militants. Specifically, NATO forces should “make sure that more of an assessment is carried out, and to as much as possible, avoid using rockets,” Nadery said. The commission’s head is appointed by the president but it operates independently ….
Blue bits point to what NATO should do, and red bits to what the Taliban does/should do. Note the ratio.
Here’s the quote that didn’t make the cut from this news release:
Witnesses suggested the majority of the casualties were caused by (pro-government forces) artillery and rocket-fire. However, AIHRC has also received numerous reports of Anti-Government Elements planting landmines in homes and residential areas, which pose a grave threat to civilians in the area. These mines can continue to harm civilian persons or property for months or even years later. Pro-Government Forces must exert greater care to distinguish between civilians and combatants in their offensive in Marjah. The AIHRC also calls on Anti-Government Elements to observe their responsibilities to civilians by not using civilians as human shields, and not planting mines or other explosive devices in residential areas.
I look forward to MSM coverage of this news release, also issued by the AIHRC:
Attacks on civilians and civilian objects are against human rights and Islamic principles
On Friday February 26, 2010, a number of Afghan civilians and foreigners were injured and killed as a result of suicide attacks on a residential and commercial area of Kabul city. The attack was carried out on the anniversary of the Prophet Mohammad’s birth.
On February 24, 2010, unknown assailants killed Abdul Majid Babai Head of Information and Culture Department of Kandahar Province. According to media reports, Taliban have claimed responsibility for both the incidents.
The AIHRC is seriously concerned about the increase of attacks on civilian persons and properties. These attacks suggest the armed opposition groups remain unconcerned about the lives of civilians. The AIHRC once again seriously calls upon the armed opposition to consider civilian lives and public property during their operations. Afghan and international security forces must also renew efforts to prevent such attacks ….
Or is the world’s media going to ignore the bad guy news release like they did here?
Spotted this blog post this week about how women’s groups are in an uproar over the prospect of potential negotiations with the Taliban and bringing them into the Afghan tent politically.
“If there is a peace jirga or talks at the regional level, we want women’s participation,” (Mary) Akrami (the founder of an organization that assists poor women and girls) said. “We want no compromises on the constitution and women’s rights.”
Kudos for bringing more attention to the issue of the Taliban’s track record.
It would have been nice, though, to have seen this sort of material from analysts and bloggers sooner. It’s not as if there wasn’t grist for the mill:
AFG Human Rights Group Bashes Taliban (on the report MSM didn’t bother to cover, even when under their noses)
Better late than never, I suppose.
With all the back and forth about reconciliation, reintegration, playing nice with the Taliban who want to play nice, NOW we’re hearing from people who remember how the Taliban conducted business when they were the winning team (emphasis mine):
“Any discussions with the Taleban must include clear commitments that they will respect and promote the rights of the Afghan people,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific director. “The Taleban established a terrible record of violating human rights during their rule and they have done nothing since then to indicate they will act differently if they return to power.“ (Amnesty International, 26 Jan 10)
Groups representing Afghan women warned the international community on Wednesday against pursuing a peace deal with the Taliban, fearing a return to the austere Islamist rule that saw women banned from education and work …. “I have great fears, and I am greatly confused,” Homa Sabri, national officer-in-charge for UNIFEM Afghanistan, the U.N.’s women’s fund, told Reuters. “2001 was a very clear signal that there is no more room for conservative elements to rule in Afghanistan,” she said. She questioned how the international community could now regard dealing with these elements as acceptable, and how it could guarantee peaceful integration in a future government …. (Reuters, 27 Jan 10)
Good to see someone finally saying it out loud AND seeing MSM listening and writing about it. I won’t go quite as far as Mark does over at The Torch, but he’s got the right idea.
This appears to be a new tack for the Taliban Info-Machine: pointing out everyone ELSE’s human rights violations.
This latest missive on the Voice of Jihad English-language site (PDF at non-terrorist site here) scolds Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the United Nations Human Rights Commission about being “tight lipped over what are (sic.) happening in Afghanistan.”
Yeah, we know the Taliban’s record on respecting human rights, don’t we?
The last time the Taliban called for help from the U.N. was over the air strike against hijacked fuel trucks in Kunduz.
Still, a few highlights jump out at me in the latest missive.
1) NEW NUMBER OF DEAD IN KUNDUZ FUEL TRUCK STRIKE: In earlier statements on this event, the Taliban mentioned 150 civilians dead (4 Sept 09 statement, at non-terrorist site) and 120 dead (Taliban investigation report issued 9 Sept 09, at non-terrorist site). The latest “guesstimate”?
“In the first week of last September, American jets killed 140 poor villagers in Kunduz province when they were siphoning oil from tankers.”
2) THE TALIBAN MISSED SOME OF THE LATEST MEDIA COVERAGE: I’m drawn by this lead sentence:
“Last week, American forces in Helmand province killed 9 civilians by firing a missile late at night.”
Usually, the Taliban’s statements are reasonably timely, with recent news references included. I guess Taliban Info-Central missed this 2 Oct 09 headline: “Dutch jet accidentally bombs Afghan civilians”. Then again, since previous Taliban statements have been known to be liberal with the facts, maybe they’re just drawing the eye to the key “crusader invaders”?
3) WHAT MAINSTREAM MEDIA MIGHT PICK UP: There are several mentions (bolded and italicized, in fact) of the “war on terror”, further drawing the eye to America’s role in the fight by using its (old) phraseology. A couple of other quotes that may pop up in MSM:
“When we try to inform the public of the world about the bloodshed, the violence, the genocide and the racial cleansing unleashed by Pentagon and its allies in Afghanistan, they suffocate our voice by blocking our websites and not publishing our news and statements.”
(Re: the red bit – if I can find alternative sites for Taliban lies, they can’t be getting smothered too, too severely.)
“Our people have seen atrocities by foreign invaders from the time of Alexander down to Chengis khan, Tamerlane, the Red Army but the American atrocities are worst in terms of brutality and barbarism.”
(I don’t know enough about ancient history, but I’m looking forward to seeing the Taliban’s evidence of Americans, say, poisoning wells and fields.)
Keep enjoying the lies!