Human Rights Watch Implicates Taliban in Mass Killings
Human Rights Watch released a report Saturday documenting a massacre by the Taliban that occurred in Mazar-i Sharif in northern Afghanistan on August 8, 1998. The Taliban targeted a minority ethnic group, the Hazaras, who practice a form of Muslim different from the Taliban. The Taliban actions in Mazar-i Sharif demonstrate a calculated and purposeful intent to seek out and kill the members of this particular minority group.
Hazaras practice Shi'a Muslim while the Taliban practice Sunni Muslim. For days after the initial attack, Taliban soldiers conducted house to house searches during which they asked the inhabitants whether or not they could recite Sunni prayers. The recitation of the prayer would prove that they were not Hazara. Hazara men were taken from their homes and executed soon after, making this one of Afghanistan's worse mass killings since the beginning of the civil war.
One reason why this attack may have been so brutal is because Mazar-i Sharif repelled an attempt made by the Taliban to take the city in 1997. In order to quell any subsequent uprising, the Taliban, upon entering the city, shot at everyone in what has been described as a "killing frenzy."
Human Rights Watch has urged the United Nations to investigate this massacre in order to determine the full extent of the abuses that occurred. Patricia Gossman, senior researcher of Human Rights Watch's Asia Division, discussed the value of such an investigation, "Determining the truth about what happened would represent the first step toward accountability. It could also provide a means toward breaking the cycle of revenge killings that has characterized the civil war in Afghanistan."
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .