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CIA-Backed Afghan Forces Commit Atrocities, Says Human Rights Watch

HeadlineNov 01, 2019

In Afghanistan, the CIA is accused of backing Afghan strike forces whose members have committed summary executions and other atrocities without accountability. In a 53-page report released Thursday, Human Rights Watch says the CIA-backed Afghan soldiers unlawfully killed civilians during night raids, forcibly disappeared detainees and attacked healthcare workers who allegedly treated Taliban fighters. This is Patricia Grossman, Asia director of Human Rights Watch. 

Patricia Grossman: “What we’re calling on all the parties involved to do is adhere to the laws of war, adhere to the rules in place. The problem with these particular militia groups, these paramilitaries, is they operate outside normal chains of command within the ordinary Afghan government forces or the U.S. forces, and so they’re not held accountable. And the lack of transparency means civilians cannot go to someone and find out what happened, get any kind of justice for the crimes that were committed.”

The Intercept reports a loophole in U.S. law allows the CIA to ignore a rule barring the Pentagon and State Department from training or equipping foreign military units when there is “credible information” they’ve committed serious human rights abuses.

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