17 thoughts on “Torture and rape in ‘new’ Afghanistan

  1. [This article claims that “MSF never works alongside, or partners with, any military strategy.” Reality is more complex than that. During the 1999 Yugoslavia war, the Greek branch of Doctors Without Borders-MSF went to Kosovo, helping people of all ethnic groups. That did not fit in with NATO military strategy. MSF then expelled its Greek branch. However, the lesson of the article here below is that NATO and other big powers sometimes may go so far that even certainly not anti-imperialist organizations like MSF sometimes cannot go along. See also MSF on Haiti; and the Afghanistan Independent [?] Human Rights Commission in the article above this]


    NATO Statement Endangers Patients In Afghanistan

    Main Category: Aid / Disasters

    Article Date: 12 Mar 2010 – 4:00 PST

    The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) today strongly objected to a recent statement by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, in which he implied that nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) should be the “soft power” component to military strategy.

    In conflict areas, MSF never works alongside, or partners with, any military strategy. The organization’s complete independence and neutrality is what helps negotiate access to populations in need of emergency medical assistance.

    The NATO statement creates additional risks to patients and staff by suggesting that medical work is part of a military strategy.

    In a December 2009 speech to NATO, Dr. Christophe Fournier, MSF international president, highlighted the importance of distinguishing between the agendas and objectives of the parties involved in the conflict in Afghanistan and those of a medical humanitarian organization like MSF.

    Read the speech here.

    When MSF returned to Afghanistan in 2009, as the conflict escalated, it was with the objective to provide immediate and accessible health care to people trapped in conflict zones. To reach that objective, MSF has negotiated with all warring parties-Afghan and International security forces and opposition groups alike-to keep weapons out of the hospital compounds where MSF is working in Kabul and Lashkargah. Only then do people in need of medical assistance feel secure enough to enter the health facilities, as the absence of all military presence means that the structures will not be attacked by either side.

    The suggestion by Mr. Rasmussen that civilian organizations such as MSF should in any way collaborate, or provide ‘soft power’ to NATO forces, endangers this understanding and makes hospitals, patients, and staff more likely to be targeted by opposition forces.

    Mr. Rasmussen suggests that Afghanistan should be the ‘proto-type’ for engagement between NATO and NGOs. MSF calls on Mr. Rasmussen, as well as all other parties involved in the conflict, to respect the necessary distinction between political and military objectives and independent medical humanitarian assistance.

    A report by MSF expanding on the importance of independent and impartial assistance in Afghanistan is also available.

    Read the report here.

    Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières



  2. Torture in Afghanistan common, U.S. report says

    State Department findings freely posted on website while Tories refuse to release Canadian documents

    Published On Fri Mar 12 2010

    Richard J. Brennan Ottawa Bureau

    OTTAWA–Torture and other serious abuses remain commonplace in Afghanistan prisons, says the U.S. State Department’s 2009 report on Afghan human rights.

    “Human rights organizations report local authorities tortured and abused detainees. Torture and abuse methods included … beating by stick, scorching bar or iron bar, flogging by cable, battering by rod, electric shock, deprivation of sleep, water and food, abusive language, sexual humiliation and rape,” says the report released Thursday.

    The 25-page report, available on the department’s website, comes at a time when the Canadian government is refusing to release documents that opposition critics say may shed light on how much Canadian officials knew between 2005-07 of allegations of torture and abuse of prisoners they handed over to Afghan officials.

    Conservative cabinet ministers, government officials and military brass have argued there were no credible allegations of torture, despite information such as current and previous reports from the U.S. State Department.

    NDP defence critic MP Jack Harris said it was sad to think the U.S. government openly provides information on torture while the federal government refuses to even release independent human rights reports, citing confidentiality.

    “They should be public documents just the like the Americans’ are …,” Harris said.

    Stuart Hendin, a University of Ottawa expert on armed conflict and human rights law, said the U.S. report is clear that Afghan detention centres are fraught with problems, “and it is difficult to comprehend why the U.S. State Department can make that finding and somehow our military leadership seems to take the position there were no problems.”

    The Conservatives have appointed retired Supreme Court judge Frank Iacobucci to vet secret documents to determine what can be released, but the government is defying a Commons order to turn them over in the meantime.



  3. From the UK Parliament:

    Early Day Motion
    EDM 1075


    Rennie, Willie

    That this House condemns the decision by the Government to prevent British broadcasters and national newspapers from embedding reporters with military units in Afghanistan once the general election has been called; expresses dismay that the decision will effectively prevent journalists from reporting from the front line; notes with concern that Ministry of Defence websites will be prevented from publishing any non-factual material, including troops’ opinions of the war or their success against the Taliban; further notes with concern that senior officers will also be forbidden from giving speeches or interviews; and calls on the Government to reverse its decision to limit journalistic access to the war in Afghanistan and allow for full and free reporting of the conflict.



  4. Pingback: Washington’s Afghan puppets as misogynistic as Taliban | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: United States-trained Afghan rapists | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Australians protest Afghan war | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Pingback: US Greens in March 20 Afghanistan peace march | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  8. Pingback: Canadian support for Afghan women | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  9. Pingback: Afghan war crimes cover-up | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  10. Pingback: NATO allies kill Afghan civilians | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  11. Pingback: Britain deports Afghan refugee children to death | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  12. Pingback: British killing of Afghan civilians | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  13. Pingback: Rape legal in Bush’s ‘new’ Afghanistan? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  14. Pingback: The Afghan war and social democrats | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  15. Pingback: NATO ‘covered up’ killing Afghan civilians | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  16. Pingback: US soldiers in Afghanistan told not to stop child abuse | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  17. Pingback: Uzbek dictator Karimov, Washington’s friend | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.