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US blocked probes into Afghan massacre
07-11-2009, 10:19 AM,
US blocked probes into Afghan massacre
Quote:The US administration has repeatedly blocked probes into alleged mass killing of Afghan war prisoners by a US-backed Afghan warlord during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan.

The New York Times quoted Friday US government and human rights officials as saying that the Bush administration had failed to investigate the mass executions of up to 2,000 Taliban POW's by the forces of General Abdul Rashid Dostum in September 2001.

According to the report, three probes by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the US Department of State and the Pentagon into the alleged massacre were impeded as it concerned General Dostum, a warlord then on the Central Intelligence Agency's payroll, who served as a defense official in the Karzai government.

"At the White House, nobody said 'no' to an investigation, but nobody ever said 'yes' either," former US War Crimes Ambassador Pierre-Richard Prosper told the newspaper. "The first reaction of everybody there was 'Oh, this is a sensitive issue. This is a touchy issue politically."

Meanwhile, Obama administration officials said Friday they had no grounds to investigate into the case because only foreigners were involved and the alleged massacre occurred in a foreign country.

The medical and human rights advocacy group Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) has called for a criminal investigation in the wake of the New York Times story.

PHR is calling for the US Department of Justice to investigate why the Bush administration blocked an FBI criminal probe into the alleged massacre in an Afghan region called Dasht-e-Leili.

"The Bush administration's disregard for the rule of law and the Geneva Conventions led to torture of prisoners in Guantanamo and many other secret places," said Nathaniel Raymond, PHR's lead researcher on Dasht-e-Leili.

"Contrary to the legal opinions of the previous Department of Justice, the principles of the Geneva Conventions are non-negotiable, as is their enforcement. President Obama must open a full and transparent criminal probe and prosecute any US officials found to have broken the law," he added.

Dostum's militia cooperated closely with US Special Forces during the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.
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