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Beheading of Taliban would be war crime-HRW
Reuters ^ | 6/23/04

Posted on 06/23/2004 8:21:06 AM PDT by areafiftyone

KABUL, June 23 (Reuters) - The reported beheading of Taliban captives by Afghan forces this week would be a war crime and the troops and commanders responsible should be put on trial, a U.S.-based human rights group said on Wednesday.

Namatullah Tokhi, commander of the Afghan government's 27th militia division in Zabul province, said on Tuesday soldiers there beheaded four Taliban fighters a day earlier after guerrillas cut off the heads of an Afghan interpreter for U.S.-led forces and an Afghan government soldier.

Summary executions of prisoners were a serious violation of the Geneva Conventions and human rights law, said John Sifton, Human Rights Watch representative for Afghanistan.

"If these beheadings actually occurred, it is a very serious incident: the killing of captured prisoners in the context of an international conflict is a war crime," he said.

The soldiers responsible, and the commanders who could have prevented the killings, should be arrested and tried, he said.

"If U.S. or coalition forces were on site during the killings, as they usually are during anti-Taliban operations, and they failed to try to stop the killings, they may be culpable in the crimes as well."

U.S. military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Tucker Mansager told a briefing in Kabul he had no knowledge of any incident in Zabul beyond reports in the media.

Tokhi told Reuters the interpreter and the soldier were beheaded after becoming separated from a patrol of Afghan and U.S.-led foreign troops in the Arghandab district of Zabul.

He said government troops later captured and killed four Taliban guerrillas in the same way.

"They cut off their heads with a knife, so when our forces arrested four Taliban, we cut off their heads too," he said. Contacted again on Wednesday, Tokhi denied speaking to Reuters.

"NOT INVOLVED"

A spokesman for the Defence Ministry said the matter was under investigation, but stressed there was no involvement by the Western-trained Afghan National Army (ANA), a fledgling force fighting militants alongside U.S.-led foreign troops.

Asked if the beheadings took place, he said: "We say that this act has not been carried out by the national army. We are investigating the report."

Militia forces, like Tokhi's, are on the payroll of the defence ministry and fight alongside U.S.-led forces but are not part of the new national army.

Zabul and adjoining southern provinces have been the scene of bloody clashes between Taliban guerrillas and U.S.-led and government forces since the Taliban's overthrow in late 2001.

U.S. forces invaded Afghanistan that year in pursuit of al Qaeda, the militant network sheltered by the Taliban and blamed for the September 11 attacks on the United States.

Taliban fighters have beheaded government soldiers in the past, but it is the first time government forces in Zabul have admitted doing the same, marking the escalation of a brutal conflict that has claimed more than 800 lives since last August.

The Taliban and Islamic militant allies, including al Qaeda, have declared a holy war against the 20,000-strong U.S.-led force and consider foreign and local aid workers legitimate targets as well as foreign and government soldiers and officials.

The guerrillas have also vowed to disrupt elections planned for September. (Reporting by David Brunnstrom, Mirwais Afghan and Sayed Salahuddin)


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; taliban
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1 posted on 06/23/2004 8:21:06 AM PDT by areafiftyone
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To: areafiftyone

B S


2 posted on 06/23/2004 8:23:25 AM PDT by TomGuy (Clintonites have such good hind-sight because they had their heads up their hind-ends 8 years.)
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To: areafiftyone

I would call it "tit for tat" if it was up to me.


3 posted on 06/23/2004 8:24:11 AM PDT by SLB ("We must lay before Him what is in us, not what ought to be in us." C. S. Lewis)
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To: areafiftyone

Would someone please tell these mealy-mouthed maggots to try taking their crying game to the Islamofascists who are beheading AMERICANS and see how far they get?

Until these jackwits can appreciate what sort of enemy we're dealing with, they have absolutely no room to whine.


4 posted on 06/23/2004 8:24:47 AM PDT by Prime Choice (When Clinton lies, he insults our integrity. When Kerry lies, he insults our intelligence.)
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To: areafiftyone

are they CRAZY!?!?!?!

How STUPID can a person be???

This is insane.


5 posted on 06/23/2004 8:24:52 AM PDT by JustPlainJoe
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To: TomGuy

I am getting sick and tired of these Human Rights groups!


6 posted on 06/23/2004 8:24:56 AM PDT by areafiftyone (Democrats = the hamster is dead but the wheel is still spinning)
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To: areafiftyone

are they CRAZY!?!?!?!

How STUPID can a person be???

This is insane.


7 posted on 06/23/2004 8:25:03 AM PDT by JustPlainJoe
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To: areafiftyone

Sorry, the US was not in at the time... Afghan forces were taking messages for us at the time. No one is to blame...except the Taliban.


8 posted on 06/23/2004 8:25:58 AM PDT by smith288 (Even if you hate me, God bless you )
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To: areafiftyone
Summary executions of prisoners were a serious violation of the Geneva Conventions and human rights law, said John Sifton, Human Rights Watch representative for Afghanistan. No it's not. Were they in uniform?
9 posted on 06/23/2004 8:26:06 AM PDT by I got the rope
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To: areafiftyone

"Summary executions of prisoners were a serious violation of the Geneva Conventions and human rights law, said John Sifton, Human Rights Watch representative for Afghanistan."


Still waiting on comment from Mr. Sifton on Berg, Johnson, and Kim.
Waiting.....waiting.....waiting....


10 posted on 06/23/2004 8:26:19 AM PDT by KJacob (No military in the history of the world has fought so hard and so often for the freedom of others.)
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To: areafiftyone

Afgan forces messedup - they are supposed to get 3 times the number (should have been 9). Then instead of a simple "chop off the head" there should have been castration involved & various body parts shoved in their owners mouths AND THEN the head chopped off.


duh.


11 posted on 06/23/2004 8:28:49 AM PDT by NotQuiteCricket (~looking for a grounding wire for my tinfoil hat)
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To: areafiftyone

I remember an interview of a taliban leader. He said they were sorry for using a soccer stadium for their public beheadings. However they would gladly stop beheading people in the soccer stadium if we would build them a stadium specifically for beheadings.


12 posted on 06/23/2004 8:28:52 AM PDT by cripplecreek (you tell em i'm commin.... and hells commin with me.)
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To: areafiftyone

WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


13 posted on 06/23/2004 8:29:15 AM PDT by jooheeyang
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To: areafiftyone

Where are these "human rights groups" when people are getting their head chopped off?

WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE???


14 posted on 06/23/2004 8:29:27 AM PDT by GeorgiaDawg
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To: areafiftyone

Gee they missed the beheadings of the interpreter and soldier....went straight to the good guys to attack. i wonder if they think the terrorist have the "right" to behead.


15 posted on 06/23/2004 8:29:27 AM PDT by marty60
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To: areafiftyone

Wonder what this world would be like if these Human Rights groups went after the Taliban and Al Qaeda like they go after the good guys. These are twisted people with a very warped sense of justice. Totally and utterly useless and probably pretty close to harmful.


16 posted on 06/23/2004 8:29:31 AM PDT by McGavin999 (If Kerry can't deal with the "Republican Attack Machine" how is he going to deal with Al Qaeda)
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To: areafiftyone

A historical precedent: The mutual animosity between the Germans and Canadians in WWII, especially after Dieppe. Prisoners on either side were summarily shot out of hand after capture.


17 posted on 06/23/2004 8:30:21 AM PDT by Junior (FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC)
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To: areafiftyone

Yeh. Wonder whether Daddy Berg is somehow behind this?


18 posted on 06/23/2004 8:30:46 AM PDT by TomGuy (Clintonites have such good hind-sight because they had their heads up their hind-ends 8 years.)
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To: JustPlainJoe

These NGO groups know no bounds, they have not perspective. They operate on a purely hysterical level. There was an article in the WSJ, yesterday, about the Doctors without borders group trying to bill the French government for the ransom that they paid for one of their members who was taken hostage in Dakastan. The French were refusing to pay becausee they said that they played no part in the negotiations.


19 posted on 06/23/2004 8:30:48 AM PDT by Eva
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To: areafiftyone

So, why aren't they going after AlQaeda, who seem to have started this p*ssing contest?


20 posted on 06/23/2004 8:30:55 AM PDT by MizSterious (First, the journalists, THEN the lawyers.)
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