Taliban leaders recently spoke out against Human Rights Watch, a United States-based human rights organization that issued a report accusing the fundamentalist Islamic militia of violent "ethnic cleansing" during their takeover of the Northern Afghanistan city, Mazar-i Sharif, in August. The report, based on interviews with eyewitnesses who fled the massacre, describes an indiscriminate "killing frenzy" as the Taliban came into the city and singled-out the Hazaras, a Shi'ite minority in Afghanistan, for torture and execution.
A broadcast issued by Radio Kabul claimed that the report has no basis in fact and was designed to damage the image of the Taliban. The Taliban has extended an invitation to the United Nations to take a closer look into the killings to determine the truth. Human Rights Watch has also encouraged the UN to investigate the massacre.
The Taliban blame opposition forces for the Mazar-i Sharif killings and claim that the resulting deaths were just casualties of war. The Radio Kabul broadcast stated, "They [human rights groups] have been holding Taliban responsible for the killing of those who in fact were killed in fighting."
The actual number of those killed during the Mazar-i Sharif massacre has yet to be determined.
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .