Amnesty International Accuses Taleban of Committing War Crimes

by Julian Ku

I’ve slammed Amnesty International in the past for their seemingly one-sided criticism of U.S. and Israeli forces, so I should note in all fairness that Amnesty International has a new report out alleging that the Taleban forces in Afghanistan are engaging in intentional and repeated violations of the law of war. The BBC summary is here.

The Taleban have targeted and killed civilians whom they consider to be “spies” or “collaborators”, including Afghan and foreign reconstruction and aid workers, religious leaders, government administrators, women’s rights activists and teachers. The Taleban have attacked civilians and civilian objects, such as school buildings, with little or no effort to distinguish between these and military targets, such as soldiers and combat vehicles.

Hundreds of people have been killed or injured, including children, as a result of indiscriminate attacks using car bombs, suicide attacks and improvised explosive devices, such as roadside bombs, aimed at military convoy patrols and bases of the foreign forces. Targets of indiscriminate attacks have also included government administrators, police and private individuals.

Many of these killings constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity. As such, there is an obligation on both the Afghan government and the international community at large to ensure that the perpetrators of these crimes are identified and brought to justice. International humanitarian law clearly identifies certain acts as war crimes irrespective of the causes of a conflict or the grounds on which the contending parties justify their involvement.

Sounds like some potential defendants in a U.S. military commission trial are out there waiting to be detained, brought to Guantanamo Bay, and tried for war crimes.

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