Thursday, June 02, 2005

fwd: Human Rights Watch: Afghanistan: Violence Surges

Spring is the time for war in Afghanistan. RLC

Please see my "concerns" page:
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Forwarded Message:
Subject: Human Rights Watch: Afghanistan: Violence Surges
Date: May 25, 2005

> Afghanistan: Violence Surges
> 23 May 2005 17:00:26 GMT
> Source: Human Rights Watch
> (New York, May 24, 2005) -- Afghanistan's security situation has
deterioratedsignificantly in recent weeks, with a spate of political killings,
violent protests, andattacks on humanitarian workers, Human Rights Watch said
today. The instability comes asPresident Hamid Karzai visits the United States
this week. The recent violence includesthe assassination of a parliamentary
candidate in Ghazni two weeks ago, the murder ofthree female aid workers, the
kidnapping of an aid worker in Kabul, and clashes betweenarmed factions in the
northern province of Maimana.
> "May was a terrible month for Afghanistan," said John Sifton, Afghanistan
researcher forHuman Rights Watch. "President Karzai needs more than a handshake
from Washington. Heneeds concrete assistance from the United States and its
allies to improve security."
> Over three years have passed since NATO member states undertook to provide
internationalsecurity forces in Afghanistan and expand the International
Security Assistance Force(ISAF), yet to date NATO forces have only deployed to a
handful of regional centersoutside of Kabul.
> Human Rights Watch called on the United States to lead efforts to accelerate
thedeployment of additional international security forces to remote provinces,
and increasethe number of international human rights monitors and election
monitors for parliamentaryelections scheduled to take place in September.
> "Current troop levels are a fraction of what has been deployed in other
post-conflictsettings," said Sifton. "And there are simply not enough human
rights monitors andelection observers."
> Examples of violence in May include:
> May 18-19, 2005: Eleven Afghan employees of a Washington-based agricultural
company wereshot and killed in Zabul province in two separate incidents.
> May 18, 2005: An Afghan television presenter, Shaima Rezayee, 24, was shot in
the head ather Kabul home. In March, Rezayee was fired from her position at a
Kabul independenttelevision station, Tolo TV, after several clerics in Kabul
said her show was"anti-Islamic," and should be taken off the air.
> May 16, 2005: Armed men kidnapped CARE International worker Clementina
Cantoni, a32-year-old Italian woman, from a car in Kabul.
> May 15-16, 2005: Five people were reported wounded, and one killed, when
violence eruptedbetween supporters of rival warlords in a district in Faryab
province, in the north ofAfghanistan.
> May 11, 2005: Akhtar Mohammad Tolwak, a parliamentary candidate and former
delegate toAfghanistan's two loya jirgas, was killed while driving near Diyak
District in the east ofGhazni province, along with his driver.
> May 9-13, 2005: Sixteen protesters were killed by police and army troops
during violentdemonstrations against a Newsweek report of U.S. interrogators
desecrating a copy of theKoran during interrogations at Guantanamo Bay. Riots
occurred in several Afghan cities,including Jalalabad, Ghazni, Kabul, and
Maimana, during which some protesters set fire andloot government and U.N.
> May 7, 2005: A suicide bomber set off a bomb in a Kabul internet café, killing
two Afghancivilians and a Burmese engineer working for the United Nations.
> May 5, 2005 – Armed men attempted to kidnap three foreign World Bank employees
in Kabul.
> May 2-6, 2005: Fighting between the Taliban and the U.S.-backed Afghan
military killed tenAfghan army troops and scores of militants, according to the
U.S. military.
> April 30 – May 1: During a protest in Herat by several hundred supporters of
former Heratgovernor Ismail Khan, police shoot several civilians, killing an old
man, a 36-year oldwoman and her 11-year-old daughter.
> --
> Sippi Azarbaijani-Moghaddam
> Independent Development Consultant
> Kabul
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