Afghans: US, NATO Ignored Complaints of Abuses in Wardak Province

NATO Insists Hasn't Seen Any Evidence of Torture, Killings

by Jason Ditz, February 25, 2013

Officials in the Afghan government have provided additional details about their decision to expel US Special Forces from the Wardak Province, saying that the decision came after both the US and NATO repeatedly ignored complaints about abuses by the troops in the province.

Residents of the Wardak Province had been complaining for months, pressing human rights groups to do something about the disappearances, torture and harrassment by US troops. It was only when Governor Abdul Majid Khogyani presented evidence to the Afghan Security Council, including evidence of a student taken in a night raid who turned up dead two days later, that the national government actually took the matter seriously.

NATO, for its part, is shrugging off the matter, saying they’ve seen no evidence of any wrong-doing by US special forces in the province. Despite claims of a “thorough review,” the fact that they kept ignoring Afghan complaints suggests they didn’t necessarily look all that hard for evidence in the first place.

Wardak Provincial MP Sher Bazon criticized the decision to expel US troops, though he did concede there had been considerable complaints about torture and killings by those troops. He insisted that officials felt more insecure with the occupation forces gone. The same cannot be said for the civilians that were getting killed by them, however.

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