Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Accountability is vital after Afghan killings

The Wikileaks Afghan documents bear out Amnesty's long-standing concerns that neither NATO nor the US have consistent systems for accounting for the numerous civilian casualties in Afghanistan (News, July 27).

They support Amnesty's concerns about improper reporting of civilian casualties, insufficient investigations into casualties that are recorded, and poor co-ordination between different national forces about incidents and over investigations that do occur.

The documents highlight a central problem identified by Amnesty's investigation into NATO activities, namely, the unaccountable operation of special operations forces outside the regular chain of command acting without proper rules of engagement.

The Wikileaks disclosure must now galvanise NATO and the US into effectively protecting civilians. Killings must be investigated in a transparent way across all forces in Afghanistan, providing justice and compensation to victims and families.

PATRICK CORRIGAN

Amnesty International

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